Horizon Launches Suite of Behavioral Health Solutions for Health Plans, Health Systems - MedCity News

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

The solutions that were announced last week, hailing from Newark, New Jersey 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 gateway to behavioral health solutions for adults and children.
  • NovaCommunityCare, which is for people with a serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
  • NovaNetwork, which helps health plans improve their behavioral health network.

These solutions come from Horizon’s own success in building a behavioral health program. Horizon provides integrated care, meaning it addresses a patient’s entire health, not just one specific condition. It also provides its services by treating people’s conditions within its organization rather than outsourcing them to other providers.

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

Horizon’s program started in just one New Jersey county and has grown to operate in 18 of New Jersey’s 21 counties. In the several thousand patients who have gone through his program, there has been a 50 percent reduction in hospital admissions, a 27 percent reduction in emergency room visits and a 20 percent reduction in the total cost of care, Kunis said.

“If we can do this here and people have great results, we can do this anywhere because everyone is dealing with the same issues,” Kunis said. “This is why NovaWell was born. Now we’re taking it out and going around the country talking to health plans about actually doing the same thing.”

These services are needed as the U.S. grapples with a major mental health crisis and a shortage of behavioral health providers, Kunis said.

“The existing options just don’t work,” she said. “So we want to make sure we’re doing more than just maintaining the status quo if we’re ever going to make any inroads into helping people.”

Kunis’ initial goal in launching the solutions suite is to get at least two or three contracts signed with NovaWell over the next year. But ultimately, she hopes the program will truly transform behavioral health.

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

Photo: Benjavisa, Getty Images

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