GuideWell Acquires Majority Stake in New Directions Behavioral Health

GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell), the parent to a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming health care including Florida Blue, Florida’s leading health insurer, announced that it has signed an agreement to become the majority shareholder of New Directions Behavioral Health (New Directions), a leading managed behavioral health care organization.

GuideWell, currently a minority shareholder of New Directions, will acquire all interests from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as part of the transaction. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and BlueCross Blue Shield of Louisiana will remain minority shareholders of New Directions. New Directions will continue to operate as an independent company and retain all exiting and remaining owner plans as customers. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with New Directions as we increasingly recognize the inextricable link between behavioral health and overall medical health for people and communities,” said Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of GuideWell and Florida Blue. “Our increased investment in New Directions aligns with our long-term strategy to be at the forefront in the transformation of health care and enhances our integrated ecosystem of products and services. By further integrating industry-leading behavioral health talent and expertise, bold solutions and offerings into the GuideWell family, we are improving our members’ and customers’ access to holistic care.”

GuideWell will leverage its expertise, infrastructure and relationships to support New Directions’ efforts to develop differentiated behavioral health capabilities to provide affordable, quality care, and a superior experience for Florida Blue members, its Blues partners and other New Directions customers. New Directions will continue to focus on enhancing its organizational structure, expanding its product and capabilities, driving growth in new market segments and innovating the way behavioral health is delivered within an integrated health model.

Founded in 1995, New Directions helps people live healthy, balanced lives. The health care company provides managed behavioral health services, an Employee Assistance Program, Student Assistance Program, organizational consulting and health coaching to private and public health plans, Fortune 100 companies, large and medium employers and labor groups. New Directions is one of the fastest-growing behavioral health care companies in the industry, more than doubling its membership in the last five years to include over 16 million members. For more information, visit New Directions Behavioral Health.