N.J.-Based Horizon Spins Out Behavioral Healthcare Company NovaWell

Nov. 21, 2022
The team that drove behavioral health transformation at Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey is seeking to help other health plans achieve similar results

Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., the parent company of Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, is backing a new behavioral health company, NovaWell, which grew out of Horizon’s own behavioral health program.

NovaWell offers a suite of solutions for health plans and health systems to treat mental health and substance use disorders. The company said its offerings empower partners to drive toward integration by enhancing their own existing systems and processes.

By completely "insourcing" behavioral health and moving away from an outsourced managed behavioral health organization, Horizon created a cultural and philosophical shift to fully integrate behavioral and physical health, the company said. Led by the team that drove transformation at Newark-based Horizon, NovaWell said it will help other health plans achieve similar results.

"NovaWell is exclusively focused on improving overall health outcomes through an integrated care model," said Suzanne Kunis, president and CEO of NovaWell, in a statement. "Behavioral health is a deeply personal mission to all of us at NovaWell. We were not satisfied with the status quo and set out to reimagine our delivery system to create true integration and parity between physical health and behavioral health. Integrating physical and behavioral care has been shown to reduce total medical expenses between 9 and 17 percent. NovaWell has achieved phenomenal results not by reducing services, but by improving access, quality, coordination and integration."

Using predictive modeling and analytics, NovaWell said, its turnkey solution enables partners to identify member care gaps further upstream and direct members to a behavioral healthcare option that best fits their particular needs.

The company has four core offerings:

• NovaClinical is a comprehensive model that delivers the best of physical, behavioral and pharmaceutical approaches via 360-degree, fully integrated care management, utilization management, clinical quality improvement and member navigation solutions.

NovaConnect is a virtual front door allowing direct access to a curated ecosystem of adult and pediatric evidence-based behavioral health solutions that combine technology with clinically effective treatment, while immediately expanding access for individuals who need support. The proprietary platform includes self-assessments and thousands of on-demand resources, and navigates individuals to the appropriate care solution for their particular needs.

NovaCommunityCare is a fully integrated solution designed to address the physical health, behavioral health and social needs (e.g. food, housing, education, financial, and job) of members with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder.

NovaNetwork: Every health plan has a behavioral health network of clinicians who deliver care to its members. High-performing networks are essential to achieving truly integrated care that improves health and reduces costs. NovaNetwork is designed to help health plans improve their network.

"NovaWell is breaking new ground with these solutions," said Gary St. Hilaire, NovaWell's chairman and the president and CEO of Horizon, in a statement. "As a veteran of behavioral health, Suzanne is leading a team that can truly move the needle on integrated health in this country. NovaWell's approach works to deliver significant reductions in emergency room utilization and total cost of care by improving health outcomes, engagement rates, and health effectiveness scores. NovaWell's customizable model can be tailored to work in any market."

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