Nurse visiting programs for babies born into at-risk homes, funded by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), have lowered the use of emergency department services, researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study found nurse visits to newborns in mid-and high-risk homes were associated with a 59% reduction in the use of ED services at a community cost of $700 per child. The visits by nurses to newborns from birth through age 6 months were part of a community-wide public health program.

The ACA allotted $1.5 billion across all 50 states from 2010-’14 through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Durham Connects program was implemented in Durham County, N.C., a community of about 239,000 residents that has more than 3,100 births per year. The study provided no evidence to suggest that such a...

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