City hospitals to receive grant to start clinics

By Jim Killackey Published: June 8, 2006
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e such site is the Baptist Free Clinic at Olivet Baptist Church, 1201 NW 10.

State hospital officials have complained for years that they lose money for uncompensated care given at emergency rooms.

"The uninsured and underinsured population continues to increase ... with over 125,000 uninsured residents in Oklahoma County," Hammes said.

In 2005, Integris Health, which operates several hospitals, spent more than $46 million on charity care, Hammes said Wednesday.

"A significant number of visits can be redirected to more appropriate community resources for nonemergent medical services," Hammes said. "Redirecting nonemergent patients will not only help reduce the incredible overload on emergency departments, but will give more coordinated care to our patients."

Integris Southwest has a medical collaboration with the Oklahoma Community Health Services.

Pam Troup, who also is affiliated with Central Oklahoma Turning Point, said the new clinics can emphasize preventive care.

"We've got to help our patients we see every day" at emergency rooms, Troup said. "They'll also have improved medical outcomes."

The three hospitals comprise the Central Oklahoma Health Care Improvement Collaborative. Advisory members include the University of Oklahoma Colleges of Nursing and Medicine, and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

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