OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole says the US Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency in Oklahoma.
The declaration streamlines procedures the government must follow in awarding grants or contracts to help prevent or treat health threats following Hurricane Katrina.
Cole says doctors and other health care providers can continue their work without fear that government regulations will prevent them from being reimbursed for their supplies.
The action waives certain rules to make it easier to provide health care items and services to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and other programs. It also exempts them from sanctions for not complying with the rules.