Mark Claypool wants the world to know a lot more about ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education in 2017.
If you haven’t heard of ChanceLight, don’t be too hard on yourself: That’s only been the company’s name for just over a year. But for 17 years, former social worker Claypool has quietly built a national business ( one of Nashville’s fastest-growing, with more than $130 million in 2015 revenue) that in 2016 provided behavioral health, pediatric therapies and special education services to more than 20,000 students across 26 states and saw revenue of $155.9 million.
“Our big priorities [for 2017] are to continue to grow in all of our business units,” Claypool said in an interview this week, later adding that the growth will certainly impact the company’s local presence and its national profile in conversations about children’s issues. “We have a lot of opportunity ahead of us. … We have been in the process of opening nearly 20 new classrooms in
California since August for profoundly disabled children. Certainly the growth of the diagnosis of autism is driving need and opportunity for us everywhere. We’re opening new clinics for preschool children as well as expanding our services to reach into their homes. … There’s huge need for everything that we do.”
ChanceLight rebranded from Educational Services of America in late 2015, part of an effort to more clearly capture the breadth of services the company can provide, Claypool said. The environment has shifted to support more crossover of services between educational and behavioral health support, he continued, creating more and more opportunity for the company.
That’s not to say there aren’t challenges. While the turbulence of a federal government administration changeover doesn’t hugely impact ChanceLight – whose customers are largely government entities on the state and local level – shifts in regulatory policy do matter for ChanceLight’s model.
“The turbulence always comes from political changes and regulatory changes and classification of kids,” Claypool said, and conversations about Medicaid expansion and the fate of the Affordable Care Act could impact some of the ways the company does business.
Eleanor Kennedy covers Nashville’s health care and technology industries.