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Weekly Health Digest: Treating PMS, E-cigarette Regulation, Air Ambulances

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A summary of important health news from the past week.

Treating PMS May Be Vital to Your Well-Being

By: Madeline R. Vann, MPH

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, at least 85 percent of women experience at least one symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS is the term used to describe the emotional and physical changes that occur in the days leading to a woman’s period. Premenstrual syndrome is a well-known women’s health issue so there are several treatment options available, from exercise, down to cognitive therapy. However, doctors recommend keeping a log of symptoms to aid in treatment development.

Trump administration moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes

By Maegan Vazquez and Betsy Klein

After a sixth person died from a vaping-related lung disease; the CDC, FDA, and state health departments have called for stricter regulation on e-cigarettes. While a definitive cause between the cases hasn’t been established, there is clearly a growing e-cigarette epidemic which is mainly affecting children. Thus, President Trump stated that the FDA will be setting stricter policy on flavored e-cigarettes in upcoming weeks. Additionally, the Health and Human Services Secretary stated that this enforcement would result in the removal of various e-cigarettes off the market.

Air Ambulances Woo Rural Consumers With Memberships That May Leave Them Hanging

By: Sarah Jane Tribble

A rural community about 90 miles south of Kansas City, Kansas does not have a traditional hospital and relies on outpatient clinics and “an emergency department operated as a satellite of a hospital a county away.” AirMedCare Network helicopters began advertising heavily following the close of Mercy Hospital Fort Scott in 2018. The median price for a medevac helicopter was $36, 400 in 2017. While private insurance usually does not cover the full cost, Medicare and Medicaid are able to control prices and offer much lower out-of-pocket costs. However, state officials are skeptical about the air ambulances’ membership programs in terms of pricing, reliability and quality of service.