1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

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Home nurse visits to newborns one to two days after hospital discharge reduce the incidence of rehospitalization for jaundice or dehydration, according to a study in the October issue of Pediatrics. Home nurse visits were found to reduce the need for rehospitalization within the first 10 days of life-from 2.8% of 2,641 newborns who were not seen by a nurse after hospital discharge to only 0.6% of the 326 infants who were visited by a nurse in the home. And 3.5% of those not seen at home made a trip to the ED, while none of those receiving a home visit did. The nurse home visits were significantly less costly than ED visits and inpatient treatment. The authors suggest that the early identification and treatment of conditions other than jaundice or dehydration may result in even further savings.


Medicaid to cover treatments for sickle cell disease.

The Sickle Cell Treatment Act of 2003 passed the Senate on October 11, 2004, as an amendment to the American Jobs Creation Bill of 2004. Specifically covered under the act are blood transfusion with deferoxamine chelation to prevent stroke, additional treatment to prevent repeated strokes, and genetic counseling and testing for sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. The bill also funds grants for demonstration projects to develop, among other services, training for nurses to provide health care and genetic counseling for people with the sickle cell trait.