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

Updated: May 15



Welcome to the Executive Innovation Show Podcast, brought to you by One Touch Telehealth and Humans Helping Humans. During this podcast hear host, Carrie Chitsey, talk with Gary Larcenaire, the CEO 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.


Listen to “Best Practices in Scaling a Behavioral Health Organization” as we discuss: 

  • What are the barriers that are stopping behavioral health organizations from turning a profit and scaling their business? Gary Larcenaire has done it twice! How has he beat the odds in a space that is typically regional? Gary explains why Medicaid’s model hinders scaling. Does the lack of standardization across state lines make it difficult for behavioral health organizations to grow? Listen to what obstacles he thinks the industry faces, how he overcame them to scale Valley Behavioral Health. 

  • Gary dives deeper into the controversial issues of behavioral organizations that are struggling to scale. “...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.” Listen as lays out how inefficiencies in a behavioral health practice group and Medicaid can hurt the bottom line. 

  • Are you serving all demographics and all insurance types in one location? Hear Valley Behavioral Health CEO 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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