Information for Patients

Dear Patients of Family Medical Associates of Raleigh,

Your health and well-being are important to us.

Due to the need to maintain social distancing and to protect both you and our staff, we ask that you call us from your car when you arrive for your visit at 919-875-8150.  One of our Patient Access Representatives will check you in over the phone.  We also ask that you wait in your car and someone will call you when we are ready to bring you back to the exam room or to the lab.  Remember to wear your mask and always maintain at least a 6 foot distance from your neighbor.

Meeting your health care needs remains our top priority. The Coronavirus crisis has not changed our commitment to you. We continue to follow the highest standards of patient-centered care that is based on clinical expertise and the best research recommendations for your care related to your specific health needs. We will notify you when it is time for a follow up
visit for care just like we always have done.

What has changed is how we may provide that care for you. Your safety and the safety of our staff is also a top priority. The Coronavirus changed the steps we take to ensure that safety. We have followed the recommendations of public health experts and began offering Telehealth visits to our patients over the past few weeks. A Telehealth visit is usually face to face and can be done using your computer, smartphone or similar device. Your insurance company is encouraging Telehealth visits as a means to continue to provide you the care you need while keeping you and others safe. Most insurance companies are covering these visits just like your office visits. Feedback from our patients who have participated in these visits has been very positive.

Not every issue can be addressed over a Telehealth visit and we recognize that some of you may still need to be seen in person. At the present time we do provide office visits for routine care, injuries (such as a sprain or a laceration), and acute health issues. If you are thinking about going to Urgent Care, please call our office first. If you are sick at the time you are scheduled for a routine office visit or calling for an appointment because you are sick, please call our office so that you can be screened by a provider and so that the most appropriate plan of care can be determined.

Telehealth Visits - We are now offering telehealth visits with our providers using your computer, smartphone or similar device starting on Monday 3/23/2020. You will be connected to a secure video channel with your provider to discuss your needs and plan of care. Insurance companies and infectious disease experts are encouraging these visits as an alternative for patients who are unable to come to the office and many insurance plans are covering telehealth visits the same as a regular office visit would be
covered. Call our office at 919-875-8150 to schedule your visit!

Office Visits for Well Patients – We continue to offer routine office visits to care for our patients for follow ups on health issues, physical exams, etc. These visits are through our main entrance, lobby, and exam rooms. No patients with sick symptoms are seen in these areas. Any patients who call in with symptoms are screened over the phone by a provider and are not exposed to these areas of our clinic. We are not allowing any walk-in appointments at this time.

Phone Pre-Visit Screenings for Sick Patients
– Our providers are evaluating and talking with every patient calling in with symptoms of respiratory illness. This phone visit will assess your needs and help us decide the best plan of care for you. This may be scheduling a visit or referring you to an outside testing center. Please note - we are currently unable to perform COVID-19 lab tests due to limited supplies.  We encourage patients who are feeling sick to call our office to be screened.  This phone visit
will assess your needs and help us decide the best plan of care for you.

Acute Care Clinic – All patients who have symptoms of respiratory illness are being addressed through our Acute Care Clinic. The provider will collect a history of illness over the phone and may perform a brief exam and testing without you having to leave your car. If you need to be examined more thoroughly, we will give you a mask and escort you directly into the exam room through a separate entrance, in a completely separate part of the building. These steps help reduce any contact with other patients or our staff. We follow CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations for surfaces, equipment, and rooms used in the service after each patient visit.

We have a dedicated and trained staff who are following strict protocols and CDC and state guidelines to prevent disease transmission. We are continuing to monitor information from the CDC, NC Department of Health and Human Services, and other healthcare experts’ multiple times a day to update our protocols to provide the best care and safety to you, our patients, and our staff.

We understand that this is a difficult time for all of us, and we are committed to providing the high-quality care that you expect to receive. We look forward to seeing you at your next visit.

Sincerely,

The Staff and Providers of Family Medical Associates of Raleigh

Antibody Tests for COVID-19

Antibody tests for COVID-19 are now available through our office. To get an Antibody test forCOVID-19 you must have a visit with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) because it is important that you and your PCP have a discussion about what the Antibody test means.

 This IgG Antibody test checks your blood to see if you have had a previous infection with COVID-19. The results are either positive or negative.

 The timing of the test in relation to a previous infection is critical -
---o The test must be done a specific number of days after the symptoms of the infection have resolved.
---o It can take 1-3 weeks after an infection with COVID 19 to make antibodies.

 A positive Antibody test result means that you likely had an infection with COVID-19. It is not clear if these antibodies can protect you from getting the virus again or how long that protection might last or if you can still pass on to others.

 A negative Antibody test result means that you likely have not had a previous infection. It does not tell you if you currently have an infection.
---o If you have symptoms you may need a Viral test that tells you if you have the virus right now instead of an Antibody test which tells you if you had the virus in the past.
---o Studies have shown that a significant number of people who have COVID-19 may have no symptoms at all.

 The IgG antibody test for COVID-19 is not meant to be used to determine if you can return to work or undergo a procedure.

 If you test positive or negative for COVID-19 by Antibody test you should still take preventive measures to protect yourself and others.

Please call our office and schedule a visit to discuss Antibody testing at 919-875-8150.

Great news about Medicare Annual Wellness Exams for patients with traditional Medicare

Medicare is now encouraging patients to get their Annual Wellness Exams as a telehealth visit.  A telehealth visit is done from the comfort of your home by computer or phone.  The Annual Wellness lends itself easily to the telehealth visit because no physical exam is needed and it is a way to keep you safe.   These exams are preventive screening exams to identify your risk for health issues and to help you develop a plan to decrease those risks.   It is an opportunity to update your medical history, your family history, your medication list, your immunizations, your screening tests like colorectal cancer screening, and your other care providers.  We will ask you to provide your height, your weight, and your blood pressure. And there is no cost sharing for these visits – no copay or deductible for the screening visit.  If problems are identified that need further evaluation you can be scheduled for a follow up at a later date in our office.

You should have received a letter from us that further explains this benefit to you.  Your provider will be having their support staff call you in the coming weeks to get you on our schedule.  When your appointment is scheduled, we will send you two forms to fill out – a health risk assessment and a depression screening tool.  Both of these are required by Medicare.  We have also uploaded other important documents and patient education tools to our website.  Just click this link Medicare Wellness Exams to learn more.  And if you have questions please feel free to send us a portal message or call us at 919-875-8150. You may also learn more about Medicare Annual Wellness Visits at https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/yearly-wellness-visits.

Documents and Patient Education regarding Annual Medicare Wellness Exams through Televisit

Advanced Care Planning

Tobacco Counseling

Choosing Wisely Lung Cancer Screening Information
Falls Risk Checklist
Medicare Wellness Checkup
PHQ9  Depression Screening Tool

Colorectal Cancer Screening
Prostate Cancer Screening
Shingles Shot General Information

Immunizations

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Cloth Face Coverings

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Download full PDF of Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Cloth Face Coverings: Questions and Answers

Download full PDF of Cloth Face Coverings:
Questions and Answers

NCDHHS Announces Hotline for Critical Workers Seeking Child Care Options

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has partnered with the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) network to launch a hotline to provide child care options for children of critical workers who do not have access to typical care because of COVID-19 closures.

Read more

Fight Flu

Patient Education

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

For information regarding this topic visit The National Institute of Mental Heath website. The NIMH page is a great educational resource where you can find information regarding research and funding, current news related to mental health, outreach opportunities, and more! If you have questions or feel that you may be suffering from a mental health disorder, contact your doctor today!

June is Migraine Awareness Month!

For more information on migraine management visit the National Headache Foundation's website atwww.headache.org. On the website you can find great information on how to have fewer, shorter and more tolerable headaches. You can also donate to their cause and learn about their upcoming events. 

Don't forget to attend our FREE educational discussion on migraine management on Wednesday, June 20th from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. The discussion will be led by a Neurologist by the name of Mitch Freedman, MD. It will be held in the lobby of our family medical practice located at 3500 Bush Street in Raleigh. We hope to see you there!

August is National Immunization Awareness Month!

Shots can prevent infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria, and rubella. But people in the U.S. still die from these and other vaccine-preventable diseases. It's important to know which shots you need and when to get them. 

Are you unsure about what immunizations you or your children should be up to date on? Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for age specific information about vaccines and immunizations.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/OctoberToolkit.aspx

According to the American Cancer Society, 2012 will bring 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer in the United States. In addition, 63,000 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (the earliest form of breast cancer). At this time, the chance of a woman having breast cancer is 1 in 8. Breast Cancer death rates are decreasing, probably as a result of finding cancer earlier and due to the accesibility of better treatment. Mammography is the best screening tool used today to find breast cancer. 

Early Detection Saves Lives!
Contact Raleigh Radiology at 919-877-5400 to schedule your mammogram today!

More Helpful Links

The following links will take you to websites to help you learn about the latest healthcare information:

HERE'S WHAT OUR PATIENTS SAY ABOUT US!

FMAR conducts patient satisfaction surveys twice a year. These comprehensive surveys address everything from appointment availability to how well our staff takes care of patients. We survey 350+ patients to ensure we are hearing all our patients’ voices. Some results from the most recent survey show what we suspected and are thrilled about -we have fabulous patients who love us!

93% Would refer family and friends to us
97% Agree that our front desk staff are friendly and helpful
98% Agree that our clinical staff is friendly and helpful
99% Agree that their healthcare provider spent enough time with them
96% Agree that they can get a routine check-up appointment within a reasonable time
90% Agree that they can get a same day appointment when they want one.
99% Agree that their provider gives them good advice and treatment

We continue to work on ways to improve your experience at Family Medical Associates.Your feedback is welcome. Please let us if any suggestions for improving our performance.

“Read FMAR’s quarterly newsletter. This quarter we discuss obesity and
easy solutions for eating more healthily.”

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