Like almost all rural states, Iowa faces a tremendous specialist shortage and is probably most evident in the field of psychiatry. In terms of psychiatrists per capita, Iowa ranks 47th nationally with about half the national average of providers. 85 of Iowa’s 99 counties are designated psychiatrist shortage areas by HPSA. Consistent with the national trend, Iowa’s demand for psychiatric care continues to grow while the supply of providers continues to decline.
ITP is the perfect solution at the perfect time to help address the psychiatric challenges facing the state. CMHCs all across the state have been providing telepsychiatry care for 5+ years so there is experience with delivering this type of care. Iowa is becoming a technology center with the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Facebook opening facilities in the state, thus expanding the reach of bandwidth in the state and introducing the most cutting edge technology. Iowa is in the process of redesigning their behavioral health system, so now is the perfect time to introduce ITP as a component of the new system of care.