Best Practices in Scaling a Behavioral Health Organization - an interview with Gary Larcenaire

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Welcome to the Executive Innovation Show Podcast, brought to you by One Touch Telehealth and Humans Helping Humans. In this podcast listen as host, Carrie Chitsey speaks with Gary Larcenaire of Valley Behavioral Health.


For three decades, Texas-born behavioral health executive Gary Larcenaire has dedicated his professional life to addressing the challenges facing people with mental illness, their families and their caregivers. As CEO of Valley Behavioral Health, a non-profit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral issues, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism, and other chronic health conditions, Gary currently works to expand the services Valley provides to the community in Utah as well as surrounding states.For three decades, Texas-born behavioral health executive Gary Larcenaire has dedicated his professional life to addressing the challenges facing people with mental illness, their families and their caregivers. As CEO of Valley Behavioral Health, a non-profit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral issues, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism, and other chronic health conditions, Gary currently works to expand the services Valley provides to the community in Utah as well as surrounding states.


Listen in on the conversation as we discuss topics such as:


  • What barriers prevent behavioral health organizations from turning a profit and scaling their behavioral health business? How has Gary Larcenaire done it twice? Hear what obstacles he thinks the industry faces and how he overcame them to scale Valley Behavioral Health. 

  • Gary states “...the airline business runs on very thin margins and if they could just eek out a couple percentage points, they're considered to be successful. And I think in behavioral health, it's even worse than that.” What inefficiencies are going to stop a behavioral health practice group from growing and is it true that Medicaid can hurt the bottom line?

  • Should you be serving all demographics and all insurance types in one single location? Hear Valley Behavioral Health CEO, Gary Larcenaire, explain why you should bifurcate your organization to make sure you are serving the right demographics. 

  • What does Gary describe as vertical integration for his behavioral health organization? Why are healthcare organizations outsourcing some of the highest margin aspects of their business? Listen as Carrie asks him his through process in taking risks to adding labs, a pharmacy, and wellness clinics. Have those risks paid off? Gary gives us numbers to back high-risk/high-reward decisions. 

  • Find out some golden nugget thoughts Gary has on where to look in fancy dinners, vendors and conferences. 

  • Learn more about this CEO's background and what led him to become the innovative thinker he is today. From having a brother with refractory schizophrenia and noticing the stigma and lack of care to having a mentor who pushed him to do fieldwork before deciding his path, hear more of Gary’s story to becoming a top healthcare CEO.  

  • How is innovation being hindered within the current healthcare system? Gary Larcenaire shares his analogy that includes an old school hard wired phone, a 20-foot cord and the break up of the Bell system. 

  • Is there not only a stigma placed on mental health but also within healthcare as well? Carrie and Gary talk about their efforts to break down the walls of the stigma placed on mental health. Hear them speak about taking action to change rural mental health with the use of telehealth and actively making a difference in their communities. 

  • Carrie asks Gary how a large scale behavioral health organization sees the future with telebehavioral health and the blending of physical and virtual worlds. Listen to Gary talk about how they’d made several attempts to use telehealth in the past and how some vendor solutions drove their healthcare personnel to be more technical support vs. mental health professionals. Listen to why Gary changed his mind after seeing One Touch Telehealth’s “game-changing” technology, how he can now provide access to rural demographics, schools and other areas in the future. Why is Gary betting on technology? How many folks have a data scientist or two on staff? Is his data driving more ACO’s to want a full-risk model with outcomes? 

Want to keep up with Gary Larcenaire and Valley Behavioral Health’s innovative journey? Make sure to follow them on LinkedIn. 


Want a more in-depth view of the Future of Behavioral Health? Download the latest Behavioral Health White Paper.



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