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Task force hears concern about emergency room use

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A legislative task force that is studying Oklahoma's Medicaid system is focusing attention on the use of hospital emergency rooms for non-urgent care.

Members of the House Medicaid Reform Task Force say testimony indicates emergency rooms are being used too often for health concerns that could be treated by a primary care physician.

The chairman of the task force, Representative Kris Steele of Shawnee, says reforms to Oklahoma's Medicaid system should relieve the burden on E-Rs. Steele says emergency rooms should not be seen by Medicaid recipients as a one-stop cure all.

Steele says the task force hopes to tackle problems like emergency room over-utilization by using a new set of principles to help steer the committee's work.
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