Health Tech, Payers

Horizon Launches Suite of Behavioral Health Solutions for Health Plans, Health Systems

NovaWell, the behavioral health affiliate of Horizon Healthcare Services, is offering four solutions for health plans and health systems. The program was created from Horizon’s own success in New Jersey.

After achieving promising results in its own behavioral health program, Horizon Healthcare Services is looking to help health plans and health systems do the same through its suite of solutions.

The solutions, which were announced last week, come from Newark, New Jersey-based NovaWell, the behavioral health affiliate of Horizon Healthcare Services. The company has four offerings for health plans and health systems: 

  • NovaClinical, which provides care management, utilization management, clinical quality improvement and member navigation services. 
  • NovaConnect, a virtual front door to adult and pediatric behavioral health solutions. 
  • NovaCommunityCare, which is for those with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder. 
  • NovaNetwork, which assists health plans in improving their behavioral health network.

These solutions came from Horizon’s own success in building a behavioral health program. Horizon provides integrated care, meaning it cares for a patient’s whole health, rather than just one specific condition. It also insources its services by treating peoples’ conditions within its organization, rather than outsourcing it to other vendors.

“Everything we do is focused on a fully integrated approach to people,” said Suzanne Kunis, president and CEO of NovaWell, in an interview. “So someone with diabetes who happens to also have depression, they should be treated as the same person. You need to look at them with their physical health issues, mental health issues and importantly, their social issues, social determinants.”

Horizon’s program began in just one New Jersey county and grew to working in 18 of New Jersey’s 21 counties. In the couple thousand patients who have been through its program, there has been a 50% reduction in inpatient admissions, a 27% reduction in emergency room visits and a 20% reduction in the total cost of care, Kunis said.

“If we can do this here and people are having great outcomes, we can do this anywhere because everybody is dealing with the same issues,” Kunis said. “That’s why NovaWell was born. Now we’re taking it out and going across the country and speaking with health plans about actually doing the same thing.”

These services are needed as the U.S. battles a major mental health crisis and behavioral health provider shortage, Kunis stated. 

“The existing options just aren’t working,” she said. “So we want to make sure that we do more than just maintain the status quo if we are ever going to make any inroads in helping people.”

Kunis’ initial goal in launching the suite of solutions is getting at least two or three contracts signed with NovaWell over the next year. But ultimately, she hopes the program can really transform the behavioral health space.

“It’s all about really helping to change the landscape and getting people to understand the value of integrated care,” she said.

Picture: Benjavisa, Getty Images