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BOSTON (AP) — Business leaders in Massachusetts say they want to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to hospital emergency rooms.

Twenty business organizations announced Wednesday they planned to work with hospitals, insurers and other groups to develop strategies for saving hundreds of millions in health care costs for employers and consumers. The coalition’s goal is to cut “inappropriate use” of hospital emergency departments by 20 percent over the next two years.

While the majority ER visits are necessary and often live-saving, business leaders say many less critical medical needs can be handled more effectively — and at a significantly lower cost — in other settings such as primary care practices or retail urgent care clinics.

The coalition will be led by Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.