June 20th Lunch & Learn Webinar

UnitedHealthcare – Interoperability & Point of Care Assist

Tuesday, June 20, 2023 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT | Zoom

The opportunity in front of us is so important as we build future technology solutions to improve access to health care, health care information and decision support. This happens with interoperability, which is integrating UnitedHealthcare’s technology directly into your EMR which then seamlessly passes actionable data to you, all while the patient is in the room.

It’s interoperability that will help each of us obtain the goals of improving access to care while providing you with information to help you make decisions. We will learn about the top EMRs UnitedHealthcare has partnered with to share data and insights with you right in your EMR workflow and see a demonstration of how this looks in an EMR environment.

Webinar Speaker

Marci Miller
Network Engagement Director
Mid-South/Gulf States
Marci Miller is the Network Engagement Director for the Mid-South, Gulf States & Carolinas for UnitedHealthcare. She has been with UnitedHealthcare since 2012 and was one of the first on-site customer advocates for UnitedHealthcare, serving the Walmart Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas.


Registration is complimentary; however, space is limited. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Thank you! We look forward to having you join us for this presentation.


If you have any questions, please contact the NCMGMA offices at info@ncmgm.org.

Future of IoT in Healthcare Brought into Sharp Focus

Reda Chouffani, Biz Technology Solutions – Published by techtarget.com

2020 Alliance sponsor feature article courtesy of Biz Technology Solutions

With faster broadband speeds, better analytics, technological improvements and more competitors in the space, the future of IoT has a greater opportunity to make a positive impact on the healthcare industry.

In the last few years, numerous vendors have entered the IoT market space. The 2020 consumer electronic event CES saw a record number of companies in the market with healthcare IoT products, such as care robots, intelligent home camera systems for tracking seniors at home and, of course, smart speakers. By 2025, experts predicted that the wearable technology market will reach $74.03 billion. This is a significant increase from its valuation in 2019 of $27.91 billion. Wearable technology is especially important to healthcare because it will introduce more devices to the market that patients can use to monitor activities, vital signs and several healthcare data points.

Why the internet of medical things is the future of healthcare

Beyond the growing market for healthcare IoT, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred conversations around the future of IoT in healthcare and how it can safely connect healthcare professionals and patients. Hospitals and clinics were forced to quickly evaluate telehealth to continue to treat some patients without increasing their risk of infection by bringing them into care facilities. Hospitals are also under constant pressure to identify ways to reduce costs. Wearable devices that enable some patients to be treated and monitored at home could reduce the number of resources needed at the healthcare facility.

Another technology contributing to the future of IoT in healthcare is the introduction of 5G networks, which provide 100 times faster speeds for connectivity than traditional 4G networks. IoT devices rely on connectivity to communicate and transfer data between patient and care provider. Faster cellular data transfer provides IoT flexibility in terms of the volumes of data it can exchange and at a much faster rate. With these improvements, new healthcare IoT uses include devices that assist patients with their medication adherence at home; sleep monitoring devices that can track heart rate, oxygen levels and movements for high-risk patients; remote temperature monitoring tools; and continuous glucose monitoring sensors that connect to mobile devices and alert patients and clinicians to changing blood sugar levels.

This new pandemic experience combined with the progress and recent advancements will increase the adoption of IoT and encourage those who might have otherwise ignored the technology in the past to get on board.

What would future applications of healthcare IoT look like?

With the increasing use of cloud services combined with AI, IoT devices are getting smarter and are going beyond just transmitting data from patient to healthcare professional. For example, IoT devices that use cloud services for data analysis are the smart glucose monitoring system and smart insulin pen. These two technologies not only continuously capture information regarding glucose levels, but also upload the data to a cloud service or a mobile app to be analyzed. Based on the outcome of the analysis, the insulin pump can then inject the patient with the appropriate dosage of insulin. Another example is the use of smart nanny cameras for monitoring elderly patients. These smart cameras recognize when routines deviate from the norm, such as if an elderly person goes into the bathroom but does not come out after a short period of time. Another application of the camera is for fall detection, which would then alert emergency services or caregivers.

Other uses of IoT that will begin to trend in the future include the use of bots or virtual agents to interact with patients. By combining sensor information collected by different IoT devices and sensors and using voice-enabled speakers, seniors can have access to a personal virtual assistant to remind them to take their medication, survey them for any relevant information that relates to their health or pain levels, and react to any collected information from their devices, such as glucose levels, fall detection or oxygen levels.

Beyond wearables and patient-specific interactions, healthcare organizations will adopt IoT in facilities for inventory management and equipment tracing. This technology — generally referred to as real-time location systems — continues to improve because of advancements in wireless technology and the size of the sensors. By tracking the movement of equipment and general use, hospitals will get better visibility of potential equipment shortages and who may have come in contact with the equipment. This is especially important for preventing the spread of infection, such as how the COVID-19 pandemic forced hospitals to track equipment and staff who came in contact with infected patients.

History of IoT in healthcare

In the past decade, internet-connected devices have been introduced to patients in various forms. Whether data comes from fetal monitors, electrocardiogram machines, temperature monitors or blood glucose monitors, tracking health information is vital for some patients, though many of these measures require follow-up interaction with a healthcare professional. The use of IoT devices has been instrumental in delivering more valuable, real-time data to doctors and lessening the need for direct patient-physician interaction. Early on, the purpose of many of these devices was to transmit data to provide visibility of a patient’s condition through reported vitals. For many physicians, the data was not sufficient and needed analysis to provide greater value. That’s the direction healthcare IoT has been moving toward.

AI will continue to convert many traditional internet of medical things from data collection points to smarter devices that can facilitate meaningful interactions with the data. With the increased rollout of wearables, IoT technology will continue to see significant growth in healthcare.

Save Your Business Money With Managed IT Services

2020 Alliance sponsor feature article courtesy of Apex Technology

Are you a small business considering managed IT services as a solution for your business in order to save on your bottom line, or to reinvest your savings to other endeavors? You’d be in good company if you did. Globally, Gartner data showed that IT spending by businesses reached roughly $3.7 trillion in 2018, with IT services growing 5% from 2017 and accounting for $980 billion.

Don’t let those numbers scare you, though. There’s a good reason companies are investing in managed IT services at this level – it’s allowing them to save elsewhere in their business and redirect those resources to improving upon the customer experience. Let’s look at some specific ways outsourcing IT to a vendor like Charlotte-based Apex Technology can help keep costs low and efficiency high.

Eliminate the Variables

Do you know the costs of installing, managing, and maintaining an IT department internally for your small business? While it might seem on the surface like a long term investment that could pay off, you have to take into account just how unpredictable the personnel and infrastructure costs might end up being, and how a flat, predictable monthly cost might be more beneficial to your bottom line.

Infrastructure Costs

Technology is not built to last, but rather built to wear out and will often need to be replaced more often than you anticipate. Hardware upgrades to achieve additional functionality balanced against installation, upkeep, and maintenance costs, along with managing all this yourself is starting to not sound appealing. Hardware failure, such as a server or router going down, isn’t going to just cost you the price of the equipment, but also the productivity loss during downtime and the hidden costs of a damaged reputation for being temporarily unreliable as a service provider.

Employing a small business IT services provider changes this dynamic completely, as you’ll be leasing equipment maintained by a third party, and the entirety of your network can be deployed to the cloud, providing a flexibility and level of access that can be scaled to your needs and budget without costly investment. And you’ll never have to worry about the next shiny new piece of equipment breaking the bank. Managed IT services will always make available the technology necessary to do the job, and when upgrades hit the market, transitioning to the new industry standard will be performed as a value added service to you, rather than a budget-killing undertaking on the part of your organization.

Expert Personnel Are Expensive

Information technology is constantly evolving as new software and equipment is constantly being released, and you will either need to train up existing staff or invest in new personnel constantly in order to remain staffed sufficiently for your IT needs. For small businesses on a limited budget, this means your people will be overworked and having to pull double duty, likely performing less efficiently at the tasks that generate income for your business.

Outsourcing to a managed IT services provider, you get the benefit of an entire team of professionals with the sole task of managing your information technology infrastructure, leaving your team to do the heavy lifting by focusing on creating a profitable customer experience for your client base.

It Pays to Be Secure

Along with the benefit of a set monthly bill for a service that scales to your needs, you’ll save money indirectly in that managed IT services offer an expertise in cybersecurity and data security that your personnel might not have brought to the table. Ensuring your data remains secure, you’re less likely to experience a costly and reputation-damaging cybersecurity event and you’ll avoid fines from regulatory agencies, as your service provider will ensure your systems remain compliant with industry standards.

7 Cyber Security Risks That Every Business Faces

2019 Alliance sponsor feature article courtesy of Apex Technology

Technology is evolving faster today than at any other point in history. Along with this evolution comes new threats to cyber security as the strategies used by hackers and other cyber criminals become more sophisticated. The digital landscape is constantly changing, which can make your business vulnerable in ways you might not even be aware of.

For businesses to minimize the risk of a network security breach, it’s important to begin by understanding the most common threats that exist today. Here are seven common threats that present a serious risk for every business.

Inside Attacks

Nobody likes to admit it, but one of the biggest threats to IT security comes from the inside. Insider attacks can come from employees that you’ve placed your trust in. While it’s important to trust your employees, it’s equally important to exercise prudence in who has access to your network and at what level.

Human Error

Not all inside threats to your cyber security are malicious in intent. It sometimes happens that a team member accidentally exposes your data, making it more vulnerable to an attack. The common culprit here is usually nothing more than lack of training. Taking the time to train and keep your team updated on network security issues is a crucial step for protecting your business.

Emerging Remote Workforce

Numbers vary but it’s estimated that as many as half of workers in the United States are either remotely employed or have the option to work from home at least part of the time. This means that employees are accessing your data on different devices, from multiple locations – often without the high level of network security that your business demands.


Malware is malicious software that has been designed to gain access to your data through your computers with you being none the wiser. Types of malware include software programs like keyloggers, spyware, and viruses, among others. Businesses need strong network security that includes continual monitoring for vulnerabilities.


Like malware, ransomware is malicious software but the effects are felt immediately as the program locks down devices and encrypts data so that it can’t be accessed until a ransom is paid. Ransomware can paralyze your business and put sensitive data at a great risk.

DDoS Attacks

DDoS stands for distributed denial of service. This is an attack coming from multiple sources that basically overwhelms your server or website to the point that it crashes and becomes inaccessible to other users. The key to preventing DDoS attacks is having a system in place that identifies and blocks attempts from malicious sites.

Inadequate Cyber Security Protocols

Finally, so many businesses are at risk because they don’t have a proper cyber security protocol in place. A strong security protocol should include a plan for training, continual monitoring, determining the hierarchy of access, compliance and disaster recovery

Minimize Your Risk of Cyber Security Threats Today

If we know one thing, it’s that tomorrow is going to look different from today. These 7 security risks should be high on your radar but you also need to be looking ahead and proactively protecting your business against threats in the future. Contact Apex Technology to learn more about how we can protect your business with managed cyber security services today.

Fighting Back Against Financial Cyber Fraud

2019 Alliance sponsor article courtesy of First Citizens Bank

Cyber hackers target thousands of businesses a year in search of companies with lots of financial assets and few protective measures. In most cases these cyber criminals are seeking financial gain.

A financial breach has an obvious economic downside, but it can also impact your customer service and business reputation. Read on for how to take precautionary steps.

Recognize that you are a target

The biggest threat to businesses is a lack of awareness of how commonplace cyber attacks are. Don’t wait until after an attack to put protective measures in place. Increase security now via technology, guidelines and training, to avoid this costly experience.

Stay current

Victims of fraud are often surprised at how sophisticated and multilayered financial attacks can be. Criminals have upped their game to trick even careful and tech-savvy finance professionals. For example, criminals can now hack into someone’s computer to steal bank account login information, and also gain access to operate their computer remotely. The final trick with this scheme is to hack a cell phone to intercept text messages typically used to gain approval for large financial transactions. Continuous training of employees to alert them to the latest financial fraud techniques can help to ensure that they can do their part to ward off an attack.

Establish guidelines

Widespread protection against fraud needs to happen every day, in many small ways and some big ways. Procedures and guidelines for everyone from the CEO on down are key to supporting these good habits. Whether it’s requiring employees to change passwords regularly, verify requests for funds, or double-check financial directives, these daily habits can deter cyber criminals or prevent access being granted to unauthorized users. These safeguards are essential even if you only have a handful of employees. Typical areas for guidelines include passwords, business use of personal devices and mobile work.

Move data to the cloud

Relocating data off-site, and storing it on a network of distributed servers, can make it more difficult for hackers to breach the system on which your important data is stored. Typically, a company or practice that offers hosting of sensitive information in the cloud will have invested in sophisticated protection that is more secure than what you could establish for your own company. Since secure storage is its business, a cloud provider should also have systems for keeping one step ahead of new fraud approaches. Always verify this fact, though. Ask any potential cloud provider to spell out its security procedures and safeguards. Also, ask specifically what it does to evolve as cyber crime becomes more sophisticated.

Choose financial relationships carefully

In addition to equipping your company with fraud protection and detection tools, be sure that all companies you work with have solid practices in place for protecting your information. This is particularly true of banks and other financial partners. While a time-saving, of-the-moment financial tool may have appeal, be sure you know exactly what safeguards are in place to protect your information.

Ask about protections and how they will evolve as threats grow and change. For more information, contact Andy Shene, Charlotte Metro Area Executive for First Citizens Bank, 704.338.3926. First Citizens Bank. Forever First. ® Member FDIC.

Security Assessment a must have for medical organizations

During this 2012 NCMGM Spring Conference, the organizers ensured that attendees received an educational session that touched on Meaningful Use.  Doug Landoll, a solutions architect, provided some valuable insights on data security that every administrator must evaluate in their organization.  The presentation titled “Risk Assessment & Meaningful Use” (Presentation here) provided details on what a healthcare organization can do to adequately prepare for, and stay in compliance with, HIPAA rules.

With some of the recent events such as the announcements by HHS in November of 2011 where the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) began auditing selected covered entities’ compliance with the privacy and security (Article link),  as well as a recently fined small surgery practice in Phoenix (fined $100,000.00), many practice administrators and executives are looking to review their internal processes and infrastructure to ensure compliance. Some of the required steps to ensure HIPAA compliance are to perform a risk analysis, as defined by HIPAA security rule, as well as conduct risk management.

Some of the examples of steps available under the two components are:


  • Identify the scope of the analysis.
  • Gather data.
  • Identify and document potential threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Assess current security measures.
  • Determine the likelihood of threat occurrence.
  • Determine the potential impact of threat occurrence.
  • Determine the level of risk.
  • Identify security measures and finalize documentation.


  • Develop and implement a risk management plan.
  • Implement security measures.
  • Evaluate and maintain security measures.

As Doug outlined, it is critical to perform an effective risk analysis and management.  Surveys and interviews do not always prove accurate and contain major limitations for data gathering.  However, once data has been gathered, then the risk equation must then be used for evaluation.  Mr. Landoll described that the Risk equation contains the following items:

Risk= Impact*Threats*Vulnerabilities

  • Impact: Valuation/ Business Impact
  • Threats: Threat Classes/ Capacity
  • Vulnerabilities: Likelihood of Existence / Ease of exploitation

The last step in the process is to determine the remediation and controls to mitigate the risks.  This can be in form of updating and adding processes and additional controls (technical, environmental, administrative and other safeguards).

The take away from the session is that every practice, regardless of size, must take the appropriate measures to ensure HIPAA compliance.  Regulatory changes and recent activities around audits are becoming a reality, and when evaluating the cost benefits vs. fines and loss of revenue due to data breach incidents, it is clear that being proactive is the right approach to take at this point and to continue to reevaluate periodically the infrastructure and processes.