Researchers at Duke University have found that nurse home visits for newborn babies can cut down healthcare costs by more than three times after they found that every $1 spent on such visits can save over $3 in healthcare costs.
In addition to saving on emergency room care, the program improved health and parenting outcomes. Participating families had lower rates of maternal anxiety and safer home environments than other families, and they showed more positive parenting behaviors, such as comforting or reading to their child. The new research appears online December 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.
"Everyone is concerned about healthcare costs," said lead author Kenneth Dodge, who directs Duke's Center for Child and Family Policy. "Nurse home visiting programs can prevent inappropriate use of emergency medical care for infants. They represent a cost-effective ways to help young families get off to a good start."