FastMed Blog

FastMed Wants to Help You Save This Holiday Season

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Preparing for the coming holiday season means committing to a budget. After all, you have large family dinners to prepare and presents to buy, you need some new decorations and you want to replace the sheets after Cousin Carl and his dogs leave come January. All this costs money, and as we all know, nothing is cheap these days.

 For these reasons and more, FastMed wants to help you save some money this holiday season. We want to offer you premier medical care at a fraction of the cost of some ER or specialty visits. See, a visit to the ER — once your only option for after-hours care — can cost up to $500 dollars on average, sometimes much more. A visit to FastMed costs around $120 on average. The difference there is a few turkeys, the toy your son wants and new linens.

On top of this, FastMed offers a Discount Program. This program costs $35 to enroll and average visits cost $120. That sure beats that 20% Off Black Friday Sales that cause stampedes every year.

As of July 2015, the average family paid healthcare premiums over $16,800 per year. On top of this, some insurance companies are prepared to ask for rate increases of as much as 40%. Healthcare costs are continuing to rise and the availability of a quick, inexpensive option like your local FastMed may be just what you need to save a little extra this winter. 

With holiday joy comes holiday accidents 

In addition to thinking ahead about the cost of care, it’s important to know that the holidays often bring an uptick in injuries. Fires, falls, trips, breaks and cuts go up during the holidays. Imagine walking around your house in the summer: the windows are open, the kids are outside. Now think about the winter: everyone is crowded inside, the floors are wet with snow and there are extension cords and decorations everywhere. You can see how injuries happen.

We want you to be safe this holiday season, and should anything happen, we want you to choose a healthcare provider who won’t charge you a fortune plus your favorite reindeer just for stitches and a splint.

Avoid unnecessary visits to save extra

To save additional dollars this holiday season, don’t be reactionary. Don’t just visit a healthcare professional when something goes wrong. Get proactive! Stop by your local FastMed for a flu shot or vaccination before a sickness takes hold and you’ll save in the long run. One shot today is cheaper than over-the-counter medications, prescriptions and cans of chicken noodle soup down the road.

If you have not already had a flu shot, make an appointment online and get one this week — before you start missing holiday events because you’re ill. One quick prick is certainly better than a week missed sick!

FastMed is dedicated to helping families save  

We are a community organization. With branches across Arizona and North Carolina, our local, friendly staff are just like you, working in the communities where they live. That’s why we are so committed to helping everyone within our branch network get premium, personal medical attention. If you’re on a budget this holiday season — and let’s be honest, who isn’t on a budget these days? — FastMed is here for you, helping you save. 

When You Need Stitches

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FastMed has been working on a new technology for a long time. We’re trying to discover a way to mend a broken heart. We’d love to be able to stitch it right up and send you back on your way, so you can find the next love of your life. Only so far, we’re having trouble getting the procedure perfected, so in the meantime we’re just sewing cuts and scrapes, life’s regular booboos. Stitches are no fun, but when done well they can be an easy fix to a messy problem. 

When do I need stitches?

We hear this question a lot: How do I know if I need stitches? Well, we’re going to encourage you to use your thinker in instances where you may or may not need stitches.  In most cases, common sense will lead you to the right conclusion. If you are still unsure or worried, you should probably see a doctor. You can also keep some of the following rules in mind

  1. On your neck, get it checked. Anytime you have a cut on your neck and it’s bleeding you should talk with a healthcare professional.
  2. If blood pours, call for sure. Any cut that squirts blood or has blood running from it needs medical attention.
  3. See a flap, stitch it back. If ever you get cut and there is a loose piece or flap of skin, it needs to be properly reattached.
  4. Got debris, the doc should see. When a cut is caused by debris or an object is stuck in the cut, a professional should see it.
  5. If the cut's long, a visit ain’t wrong. Anytime a cut is longer than 1/3 of an inch or deeper than ¼ of an inch, see a healthcare professional.

In addition to the rules above, remember that if you are in doubt, hop on your mount. Confused? Get it fused…. Well, you get the picture.

Do stitches hurt and will I have a scar?

People always want to know if stitches hurt. Most of the people who are really concerned about the pain of stitches have seen one too many action movies where the hero finds a stray needle and ties his own wounds together without anesthesia. If you get stiches at FastMed you will not have to bite on a stick to muscle through the pain. We are not a movie set in the middle of the jungle. We are a friendly, locally-staffed healthcare center and we can stitch you up comfortably and in a way that leaves less scarring.

Keep in mind, a percentage of severe scarring is related to not getting stitches when stitches are needed. Any cut can leave a scar, but you can reduce scarring if you do what you can to help a wound heal properly. FastMed will also help you prevent scarring by talking through caring for a wound once you’re home, including how to keep the wound lubricated and properly bandaged.

How and when do stitches come out?

In the olden days, even a few years ago, stitches always had to come out. You had one office visit to stitch the wound and a second to have the stitches removed. Today, the materials we use to stitch simple cuts and lacerations have changed, so you may not even need a second visit. Stitches these days may dissolve, depending on the type of cut and how your healthcare professional treats the wound. 

It’s hard to predict how long you will have to keep the stitches in. Some cuts heal enough to bind on their own after only a couple of days while more serious injuries may take weeks to heal. Your healthcare professional will determine how long you need to have your stitches in on a case-by-case basis. 

When it comes to stitches, trust FastMed

At FastMed, we have addressed a number of cuts. We’ve seen them all. Being open on the weekend and in select locations the holidays, gives us the chance to treat the oddest of seasonal cases as well. We’re the place people go when the carving knife dashes through the dark meat and lands in a thumb. We’re open on the weekends when your kid’s skateboard failed to grow wings and fly over that bike rack. We’re your scar-preventing destination when all you catch on an early morning fishing venture is your own ear. For all your mishaps and mistakes, we’re here, helping you get back out there. 

FastMed is faster and less expensive — some would even say better — than the emergency room if (or when) things go awry this fall. If we work out our broken heart stitch procedure, if we find a way to cure the ailments of love gone wrong, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, trust us for your average cut or scrape.

The FastMed Way: Treating the Flu

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So you got the flu. Either you forgot to visit FastMed for your flu shot or despite all your preventative efforts you still got sick. It happens. Sometimes you do everything in your power to protect your home from the flu and one kid decides to go to school sick and an entire classroom gets infected, bringing it home to you. If this happened, we’re here to help. 

However you got sick, now it’s time to get well. It’s time to find the right treatment and make healthy choices that will get you back on your feet quickly. Most of us can’t afford to miss a lot of work these days, so why not choose an inexpensive treatment option that can get you back in the office in no time at all?

 Get enough sleep

You know how sometimes when you get sick all you want to do is crawl in bed and sleep? That’s your body making a great suggestion. Listen to it. If you feel achy and ill and want nothing more than to curl up under the covers, dive into bed and get some rest.

If you have the flu, you should sleep at least nine hours a night. If you can get more sleep, that’s great. Take some naps throughout the day if you need to. Sleep helps your body recover and may boost your immune system.

Make sure to stay hydrated

When you’re awake, we want you consuming fluids. Hydration is key to kicking an illness. And we don’t mean drinking water until your belly maxes out. Hydration can be enjoyable and soothing if you’re sick. 

  1. Use a humidifier: Keeping the air moist and moving may improve your symptoms and help clear your sinuses.
  2. Eat an icy pop: If your throat is sore and swollen a cold treat may relieve some of the pain — and it’s tasty, too. 
  3. Have a hot drink: Have some hot tea or even warm water with lemon. Much like a cold treat, this may feel soothing and it may clear some symptoms.
  4. Don’t forget soup: Your mother’s favorite remedy really works. Chicken noodle soup has proven its healing properties.
  5. Fruit and sport drinks: Tasty drinks are a good substitute for water and a great source of electrolytes. Just be sure to choose a healthy alternative, rather than a really sugary drink.

If you are caring for a child with the flu, hydration is very important. You may need to encourage them to drink, as it can be uncomfortable with a sore throat. Also, keep kids home from school until you are absolutely sure they are feeling better. You don’t want your child who is already tired and weakened from illness to catch something else, and you don’t want to spread the flu at your child’s school.

Take the right medications 

There are over-the-counter treatment options for the flu. You can take ibuprofen, antihistamines, decongestants and cough medicines to relieve your symptoms. You want to be sure to read the labels on any medicine you take. If you are treating a child, you want to be especially sure that you pay attention to what medicines you are giving them and the dosages they are taking

There are also prescription medicines you can take for the flu. Your local FastMed is ready to help you get the medicine you need anytime. Often, sickness strikes on the weekend or after normal business hours, and we’re open and available. We are also here on holidays. You should call your doctor at the onset of flu symptoms for the best chance of getting the treatment you need in a timely manner.

FastMed is your flu headquarters

If you haven’t yet, get your flu shot at your earliest convenience and try to avoid ever getting sick. However, if you fall ill, your local FastMed is your flu headquarters. Our friendly staff is ready and able to help you understand how best to prevent illness, how to treat illness and how to prevent the spread of the flu once you are sick.

As autumn settles in and holidays approach, the flu begins to take hold. When you feel down or if the kids bring something home, count on FastMed to get you back out there. We’re faster and less expensive than most emergency rooms should you need an after-hours or weekend visit.

The Dangers of Undercooked Foods

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We all look forward to tailgate season. As soon as football returns we get ready to camp out in a parking lot for a day, have a few beverages and grill some delicious treats.

It’s a scene that presents a few challenges. Without your normal kitchen set up, you have to be careful when preparing foods. Are you preparing chicken outside in the sun? After a few toddies, are you making sure everything is cooked all the way through? Food preparation, especially the dangers of undercooked foods, is something you should pay special attention to this fall. Whether your team wins or loses, with a little help from FastMed you can keep your family and friends safe all season long. 

Handle meat properly

Make sure you are handling meat properly. You want to pack all meat in a cooler with ample ice so everything stays fresh until you are ready to cook. Then you want to be careful where you set the meat before and after you cook it.

If you are preparing food on a tabletop, clean it well before using it and clean it anytime meat comes in contact with the surface. If you use a plate to hold uncooked food, do not put cooked food back on the same plate. E. coli can spread from uncooked or undercooked food. The bacteria can also linger on a hard surface for a very long time. Some studies show E. coli may live as long as 100 days on a surface. This means that if you do not clean your tailgate table and utensils properly when game day is over, dangerous bacteria may still be there the next time you use the supplies.

Cook food to the proper temperature

Be sure to cook meat to the proper temperature. If you are worried about your ability to judge the doneness of a burger or chicken breast by looking at it, cut it open. People worry about cutting meat on the grill because they think it will spill the juices, but losing some flavor is better than getting sick.

You can also use a thermometer to check the temperature of meat. Recommended cook temperatures for various tailgate staples are listed below

  • Chicken wings: 160 to 165 degrees F
  • Ground beef patties: 160 to 165 degrees F
  • Pork ribs: 180 to 200 degrees F
  • Pre-cooked or raw sausage: 140 or 160 degrees F

Try to make using a thermometer a habit, whether you are at a tailgate or in your home kitchen. Soon it will become second nature. A few seconds to check the temperature could prevent very serious illnesses in the long run. 

Also, at your tailgate, leave yourself plenty of time to cook your food properly. It’s not uncommon to fire up the grill and put on some chicken, only to hear the crowd roar in the distance and feel the need to hustle up, eat and get on in to the game. You always want plenty of time to prepare your tailgate meal, so you don’t serve any undercooked food. Arrive early and heat up the grill so you’re ready to go from the start. 

So what’s the big deal?

A little pink in a chicken wing never hurt anyone, you say? Nothing another beer can’t cure? Well, the truth is, any number of bacteria may be carried in meat. 

We mentioned E. coli, which can cause extreme stomach troubles, but you may also be exposed to Salmonella. Salmonella leads to more than 1 million illnesses each year and a significant number of deaths. Trust us, you do not want to deal with E. coli or Salmonella infections. Not to mention Listeria, noroviruses and Hepatitis A, all of which can also be transmitted through food if it is not heated enough to kill the offending bacteria.

FastMed is here if you eat a bad wing

The bottom line is: Take your food prep seriously and cook food thoroughly. It’s the only way to prevent the spread of foodborne illness at your tailgate this fall. At FastMed, we support having a good time, but we have seen what can happen when people take a shortcut here or there with their tailgate cooking — and it’s not a pretty picture.

As always, we hope you will never need our services. We hope a foodborne illness is something you never experience. But should you get an upset tummy or worse, give us a call. A healthcare professional at FastMed can help you get back on your feet before the next home game. 

When Is a Cold the Flu?

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When you are trying to decide if you have a cold or the flu, keep this in mind: there is a difference between getting poked and punched. A punch lingers. A punch aches throughout your body. A punch makes you call your momma, demand soup, hugs and a forehead rag — while a poke elicits discomfort, a wince. In terms of severity, often a cold is a setback and the flu is a knockout. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a cold seriously. You should always be vigilant when it comes to your health. But we want you to trust your ability to feel changes in your symptoms; we want you to focus on recognizing when symptoms progress, so you can seek help. There are very specific differences between a cold and the flu, and we’ll go through those below. 

Recognize the differences 

Often, when you are trying to determine if you have a cold or the flu, you’re talking about severity and duration of symptoms. This relates to our poke-or-punch chat above. You know when you feel worse than “under the weather.” Also, you can look for specific symptoms to determine if you have a cold or the flu.

Use the chart below as a guide, keeping in mind that every case is different.
















Runny nose






Sore throat






You will also see a difference in how cold and flu symptoms start and how long they linger. Cold symptoms often come on gradually and may last for a few days. Flu symptoms will come on more quickly and can make you feel poorly for a week or more.

Another difference between a cold and the flu is what time of year you get sick. Any number of infections may cause a cold any time of year. The flu is more seasonal. That’s why it is so important to get a flu shot each year

Treating the cold or flu 

First, there are plenty of home remedies to try. We mentioned momma’s soup and a wet rag on your forehead. These are a couple traditional at-home fixes that might make you feel more comfortable. Other ways to treat the cold and flu without medicine include properly hydrating, gargling with salt water and getting lots of rest. If you want to treat your illness at home, we stress getting extra sleep and believe in the healing power of your favorite silly comedy

Another option is taking over-the-counter medicines. Decongestants and antihistamines may relieve some of your symptoms; pain relievers may help you bring down a fever; and a cough suppressant may, well, suppress your cough. 

We always recommend that you speak with a healthcare professional if you are sick. At FastMed, we can help you lessen your symptoms and prevent illness from spreading to other members of your household. We may even be able to get you back on your feet quicker, as a healthcare professional can write a prescription for an antiviral medication.

FastMed is here when life is unpredictable 

With the changing seasons comes the flu, and the flu is often unpredictable. Kids bring it home from school, a colleague comes to work ill, or someone sneezes in the bread aisle at the grocery store, and next thing you know everyone in your home is sick. It can happen on the weekends, and holidays are no sickness shield. That’s why FastMed is open every day of the year. We are your resource all flu season long, should you or your children need medical attention. 

Sure, you can weather symptoms from the comfort of home and wish the flu away. But as quickly as we can have you back in bed, why not let us lessen the impact of the flu’s hefty punch? 

Endless Health: Let An 80s Hit Guide You This Fall

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When Diana Ross and Lionel Richie came together to record “Endless Love” in 1981, it became one of the biggest hits of the eighties and has since been covered multiple times. Clocking in at 4 minutes and 26 seconds, it’s a perfect guide for a healthy morning routine. Sure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention champion 5-minute healthy habits, but we’re shaving 34 seconds off that — because we’re FastMed — and we’re giving you a silky-smooth soundtrack to play in the background. How can you not get behind a self-care routine to one of the greatest love songs of all time? 

Washing your hands 

Experts recommend you work up a wet lather and scrub your hands for 20 seconds. Wise — less romantic but wise — institutions like the CDC recommend you sing “Happy Birthday” to ensure you scrub long enough to rid your hands of dangerous germs. We want you to focus on the first few lines of “Endless Love” instead. If you don’t know them, maybe you’re so young you have an app to wash your hands for you, maybe you think Lionel Ritchie only sang “All Night Long,” or maybe you just need a refresher — and that’s okay. To get us started, lift your voices with me: My love, there’s only you in my life, the only thing that’s bright. 

Check those tonsils 

We’re spending quite a bit of time this season talking about the difference between viral and bacterial infections. This is important because we want to make sure people are only taking antibiotics when they absolutely have to. So, when you have a sore throat, think about when the “Endless Love” chorus kicks in. It’s a big soulful declaration that sounds like: And I-I-I-I… Hold the I’s…and look deep into the back of your throat. If you see white spots, that sore throat should be tested for strep.

Look deep into your own eyes

And your eyes, your eyes, your eyes…hey tell me how much you care. They also tell us about seasonal allergies. Eye allergies affect 1 in 5 Americans and can often be treated with at-home remedies. But if redness, itching, swelling or irritation persist, you may want to talk to a healthcare professional to get everything checked out. We wouldn’t want a treatable infection clouding the windows into your soul, would we? 

Give yourself a hug

While our tune suggests holding the apple of one’s eye forever, forever is a really long time. We recommend you vary movements, stay active and keep moving to maintain your health. Also, a quick hug might help your health as much as a long one, even if it’s a hug you give yourself. Researchers found the brain was unable to feel some minor aches and pains when study participants gave themselves a hug. See, when the brain sees arms crossed and feels an influx of touch in an achy area, it loses track of the initial pain. So give yourself a hug, whether or not you’ve found your endless love.

One last thing

The song is almost over. What should you do before you start your day? Well, as Ross and Ritchie sing, No one can deny this love I have inside, and I’ll give it all to you, my love…and this is really our whole point. Looking in the mirror, singing “Endless Love,” focusing on your health, is about you. While others may love you and your family and friends may sometimes hold you accountable for your health, it’s up to you to look in the mirror and treat yourself with all the love you have inside. Don’t let a small problem grow into a bigger issue because you didn’t care enough to get it checked out.

FastMed is here for you

This is our songful way of telling you that every morning or night, whenever you spend the most time in the bathroom, you need to pay attention to the details. Put on your favorite song and look at your eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Go over your body and see if you find anything new or worrisome. Then, anytime you have a question or want to get something checked out, FastMed is your answer. Your local FastMed can get you in and out and back in the dance of life at a fraction of what the emergency room visit costs. Trust FastMed because we’re on your side… endlessly. 

How Do You Treat a Sore Throat?

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We’ve all had a scratchy throat. It costs us time at work, keeps the kids home from school and drives our chicken noodle soup budget through the roof. Sometimes it starts with a cough and gradually gets sorer as the week wears on. Other times it comes on quickly, as if we accidentally swallowed a huge, pointy ice cube.

These sore throats may be the result of a few different issues. Commonly, sore throats are related to a viral infection. Viral infections include the common cold and the flu. In other cases, a sore throat is a symptom of a bacterial infection. It’s important to know which illness is sweeping through your household so you can treat everyone properly.

Let’s talk about the different causes of a sore throat and treatments that are recommended for each type of illness. We all know that as the weather begins to cool, seasonal illnesses start to pick up. We at FastMed want to help you prepare, so you know when to see a doctor and when to crawl in bed with a cozy blanket, a good book and the rom-com you’ve seen a million times just because it makes you giggle every time the bad guy slips on ice.

Say, ‘Ahhhh,’ and look for the common cold

If you open wide and see red or swollen tonsils and a bright red throat, your sore throat is probably a viral infection. With a viral infection, you may cough and sneeze, but the sickness will work its way through your system in a few days or a week. A viral infection is a ticket to rest. Call in to work, tell the kids to leave you alone and get comfy because you need sleep.

Now, if your viral infection doesn’t go away or symptoms get worse, you need to look out for the flu. Symptoms of the flu include achy muscles and joints, fever, fatigue and increased coughing. If you think you have the flu, if your cold symptoms feel significantly worse than normal, a healthcare professional at FastMed can run a test to verify your diagnosis. Knowing exactly what is keeping you down is always the quickest path to recovery because you can get the appropriate treatment.

FastMed can also help you prevent the flu if you get your seasonal flu shot. Today there are multiple vaccination options, so ask a healthcare professional at your next FastMed visit which one of the shots is best for you.

If your infection is bacterial, what will you see? 

When investigating your sore throat, if you see white spots on your tonsils or a gray, furry coating on your tongue, you didn’t sleepwalk and eat all the cotton balls. No, your infection is likely bacterial. Bacterial infections cause strep throat. A professional at FastMed can complete a quick swab test to determine if you have strep throat. 

Symptoms of strep throat vary from those of the common cold or flu. If you have strep, you may experience more pain in your neck, have a tougher time swallowing, get a nagging headache or feel nauseous. Strep throat is no fun at all, and it may take more than a favorite movie to make it go away.

Antibiotics only work to treat a bacterial infection

Why is it so important to know what is causing your sore throat? Well, if you have a bacterial infection, a healthcare professional will prescribe antibiotics. You only want to take antibiotics if you have to. For a long time, antibiotics were overprescribed. This allowed certain bacterial strains to develop a resistance to medicine. We don’t want this to happen. This makes it very important to only take antibiotics when you absolutely should.

Talk to your healthcare professional anytime you are prescribed an antibiotic to make sure you know why you are taking it and how you should take it, and then be sure to finish your prescription. A bad habit that leads to antibiotic resistance is when a patient takes only a part of a prescription, giving bacteria a little taste of the medicine—just enough for them to get used to it. You should finish the prescription to do away with the bacteria completely.

If you have questions call your local FastMed 

Throughout the coming seasons, we’ll talk quite a bit about different illnesses, how you can treat and prevent seasonal sicknesses, and when you should see a doctor. But keep in mind, you can call your local FastMed whenever you have questions and make a quick and easy appointment. 

We are open every day of the year, including holidays. Our weekend hours let you get in, get out and get back to your movie. You’ll be back in bed long before the good guy comes to his senses and asks the princess, cupcake baker or advice column editor to dance.

FastMed Welcomes Raleigh Residents to Grand Opening October 17

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 FastMed Urgent Care in Raleigh on Glenwood Avenue Opens October 17

Just in time for fall, FastMed Urgent Care is opening its third urgent care center in Raleigh, North Carolina October 17.

FastMed will hold its grand opening Saturday, October 17th from 11 am to 4 pm for its newest urgent care in Raleigh, welcoming local residents to visit FastMed’s new clinic for free flu shots, a free lunch, tours, the opportunity to meet the health care providers and learn about FastMed Urgent Care’s services.

Glenwood Nurses Station

The new FastMed clinic is located on 6010 Glenwood Avenue, next to La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, Rooms to Go Kids Furniture and AAA Carolinas Car Care.

In Raleigh, the new clinic will join two other FastMed Raleigh locations in serving the capital city, FastMed at the corner of Millbrook Road and Falls of the Neuse Road and FastMed at the corner of Creedmoor Road and Lynn Road. 

The new clinic on Glenwood Avenue will provide walk-in treatment 365 days a year to the surrounding Raleigh suburbs including Deblyn Park, Brook Forest, Glen Forest, Oak Park, Camden Court Townhomes, Oak Park West, Hamstead Crossing, Summerwood Townhomes and Sir Walter Hills. The clinic will also serve the local schools providing wellness visits including sports physicals, exams and flu shots.

Glenwood Balloon

FastMed Urgent Care centers provide local treatment services including:

  • Colds, Flu and Viral Illnesses
  • Bronchitis, Pneumonia and Respiratory Illness
  • Asthma and Allergic Reactions
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Fracture Evaluation (Digital X-ray)
  • Cuts, Scrapes and Burns
  • Stitches and Minor Surgery
  • School, Sports and Camp Physicals
  • DOT Physicals
  • Immunizations and Vaccinations (including flu shots)
  • Labs and Rapid Testing for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), Strep Throat, Pregnancy, and the Flu
  • EKGs and IV treatment
  • Drug and Alcohol Screening
  • Work Injury Care and Workers' Compensation
Glenwood Parking

FastMed clinics are open for treatment 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday, and 8 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the grand opening, FastMed services or to call FastMed, click here for FastMed’s grand opening flier or visit the website page for FastMed Raleigh on Glenwood Avenue.

Inactivity Today Might Lead to Illness Tomorrow

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Your local FastMed understands that sometimes getting the right amount of activity is hard in a fast-paced world. But we want you to stay active. It’s important for your body, especially your heart, your brain, and your wallet. In fact, just a little bit of exercise may be able to save you quite a bit of money. 

Let’s take a deep look at the cost of inactivity. As you read, try to decide what’s been holding you back from getting the amount of exercise that you should. Is it mental? Do you not know where to begin? Or do you have a nagging injury that is keeping you out of the fray? We can surely help with the last issue, and maybe the others — so let’s get started.

The impact on your body 

Think about this: a recent study found that inactivity or a lack of exercise may be as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Research shows that since 2008 inactivity has taken the lives of 5.3 million individuals. Compare this to 5 million from smoking over the same time period and you see the impact a lack of exercise can have.

The American Heart Association reports 69% of Americans are obese, and there are a number of reported factors. First, technology is an emerging cause of inactivity, as people sit in front of televisions or on their phones more than ever. Second, an increase in sedimentary 9-5 jobs that require little physical activity with few breaks with physical movement. In fact, only 20% of jobs currently require physical activity. So if you find yourself in a chair too much, you’re not alone. It’s becoming a cultural issue we have to overcome. 

What’s more troubling, the World Health Organization draws a connection between physical inactivity and very serious diseases. The organization estimates “6% of heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, and about 10% of colon and breast cancers, are linked to lack of activity.”

The impact on your mind 

The amount of exercise you get each day also affects your brain. Some studies have shown regular exercise will improve your memory. This means exercise may have a direct impact on your ability to perform your job, help you keep track of appointments and details, and improve your relationship with your spouse or partner — as you remember to take out the trash. Of course the trash isn’t as important as remembering the time you spend with your grandkids, but you get the gist.

As an added bonus, think about this: exercise was shown to increase the creation of certain brain cells in rodents — and this may translate to humans. So you get home from work and take a walk around the neighborhood and as a result your brain may actually grow! That’s pretty neat, isn’t it? 

The impact on your wallet

The last piece of this puzzle is how inactivity can affect your wallet — specifically healthcare costs. Obviously if you have a condition or have to see the doctor more often than another person you will spend more money, but how much money?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the annual cost of obesity at $147 billion in 2008. They point out that medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher each year compared to people of normal weight. You have to stop and weigh the things holding you back from exercising against the impact on your health and the cost. 

Arizona and North Carolina, the two states where you can find a FastMed, are around the middle of the pack when we talk about states battling obesity rates. Around 25% to 30% of people in our home states are obese. We’re prepared to help you get back on the right track if you need help. We know that often the hardest part is getting started. Speaking with a healthcare provider about building an activity plan that is right for you counts as a brave first step. 

FastMed can help you get back out there

Whether you have slipped into a bad habit or found yourself going without exercise for a while, FastMed is available to help. We are a quick and affordable alternative to the emergency room and our community-focused staff is happy to have you visit, talk about your barriers to exercise, and see how we can help you get back out there.

FastMed: Paying for Your Visit

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Your local FastMed Urgent Care is competitively priced. And for many services, a visit to a FastMed location costs a fraction of what you would pay at an emergency room. But this doesn’t mean healthcare is affordable to everyone — and that’s why we offer our customers a number of ways to pay for their visits.

FastMed and your insurance

FastMed accepts most private insurances, Medicare and Medicare Advantage. If you are filing a visit with your insurance carrier and your plan requires that you pay a copay, coinsurance, and/or deductible, that cost is due at the time of service.

As a refresher on what we’re talking about:

  • A copay is a fixed amount you pay for a particular service.
  • Coinsurance is a percentage of the service you pay, while your insurance carrier pays another percentage.
  • A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay in a given year, a cap on how much you pay, or the amount you need to pay before insurance kicks in, depending on how your plan is set up.

You can learn more about your plan by calling your carrier or going online. Today, many providers have online portals where you can learn about your specific plan and keep track of your healthcare costs.

Every insurance carrier is different, so your costs may vary. Also, healthcare facilities across the country are a little different in terms of what insurance carriers they work with. At FastMed, we are proud to try to work with as many carriers as we can to make our premier healthcare services as widely available as possible. Whether you live in Arizona or North Carolina, you can use the links below to verify that your local FastMed works with your insurance provider.

When you come to your visit, make sure you have your identification and your insurance card. There will be some paperwork to fill out in the office, or you can complete that before you come in. You can find a detailed list to help you prepare for your visit on our website.

If you do not have insurance

If you do not have insurance, we offer a self-pay program to help you manage the costs of your visit to our office. This competitive program will allow you to work with the particular FastMed branch to set up a plan to pay your bill. FastMed also accepts cash, checks, debit, and all major credit cards if you would like to pay for your visit in full when you check out.

Because FastMed believes in helping people get the healthcare they need, we offer the FastMed Discount Program to qualified individuals. For as little as $35, you and your family can visit any FastMed location, anytime, and see a healthcare professional. For additional services, like advanced testing, the discount program offers affordable options as well.

If you are interested in the FastMed Discount Program, read more, fill out an application, or speak with your local clinic

FastMed will work with you to get you the treatment you need

FastMed is here to serve our community. Our staffs live in the areas they serve and it is important to us that the people of our neighbors have a place to get premier medical attention. If you have any questions about our service offerings, want to discuss the pricing of our services, or need more information about paying for your visit, don’t hesitate to reach out

FastMed Urgent Care is your quick, affordable emergency room alternative, and we’re open every day of the year to help you get back out there!