Telehealth: A Fresh Approach to Workforce Development

How telepsychiatry can reframe clinical teams

As the demand for behavioral health care
continues to increase, organizations providing
care can no longer afford the time and costs
associated with vacancies on their clinical
teams. The financial cost is too great, the
investment of time is too great, and the impact
on patient care is too great.



Average cost of recruiting a psychiatrist.


Average employee turnover rate for behavioral health industry.

150 Million+

Americans living in federally designated mental health provider shortage areas.

Telehealth partnerships with innovaTel allow
organizations to sidestep the most common
staffing obstacles and redirect the time and
energy traditionally reserved for workforce
development into patient care — which is of the
utmost importance.

High Plains Mental Health Center, an
organization serving 100,000 people across
20 counties in Kansas, is just one example.
After initiating a telehealth partnership with
innovaTel, High Plains saw its wait time for initial
assessments drop from two weeks to three
days. Access to a psychiatrist also drastically
improved, from a six-week wait to just two.

The following whitepaper illustrates how
telehealth partnerships improve access to care,
providing compelling insights for organizations in
need of additional clinical staff, additional patient
capacity and expanded provider specialties.

The Cost of Recruitment

180 days

Average length of
time to recruit a


The average daily
cost of a healthcare

The Cost of Vacancies

The pressure facing behavioral health, in this
moment, unprecedented. Between a growing
demand for care, an alarming increase in
opioid-related fatalities and a severe nationwide
shortage of providers, access to care has never
been more important for patients in need.

And that means recruiting additional behavioral
health and substance use disorder providers has
never been a greater priority for industry leaders.

Workforce development, though, has long
been an achilles heel for leaders looking to fill
positions with certain specialists, which may
be difficult to find, attract and retain in certain
geographical areas. Yet, the cost of a vacant
position — measured in dollars and by the
quality of a patient’s experience — may be too
much for organizations to ignore.

But, there is an alternative to the traditional
route of building an in-house clinical team. By
engaging in a telehealth partnership, behavioral
health leaders can avoid the typical pains that
come with workforce development — from
recruitment to turnover — and instead focus on
the benefits that come with having access to an
expanded, experienced clinical staff.

Redefining Provider Teams

For decades, teams across every industry have
been built internally, from the ground up.
Technology has not only changed that practice,
but it has influenced the expectations of those
served by any given organization.

Goods are now delivered to doorsteps,
sometimes the same day. Meetings are held
with participants scattered across several time
zones. And, care is being provided to patients
through telehealth technology.

That dynamic has allowed leaders in every
industry to redefine their teams, to source
talent from new geographic areas and engage
with employees in new ways. And healthcare,
specifically behavioral healthcare, is no exception.

When applied against the costs of recruitment
and employee turnover, and coupled with the
financial and tertiary costs of a clinical vacancy
to a team and an organization’s patients, the
case to stay the traditional course of building
a team internally grows less attractive than
forming strategic, external relationships that
improve patient care capacity.


Average employee turnover rate in behavioral health industry


Average cost of recruiting a psychiatrist


The number of providers needed for each of seven mental health specialties to meet expected demand by 2025.

Patient-Focused, Cost-Saving Solutions

From quality control to cost considerations, the
outsourced partnership model of telepsychiatry
has proven itself time and again, especially
when measured against the costs associated
with building a team. Considered alongside
the solutions that come with engaging in
workforce development partnerships grounded
in efficiency and quality, the benefits of this
alternative come into focus.

At innovaTel, our roots as clinicians inform the
workforce development solutions we create
for the organizations with which we form
telehealth partnerships.

Typical Challenges vs. Innovative Solutions


  • Systems established for internal efficiencies could be disrupted by processes introduced by outside partners.
  • Administrative tasks necessary for effective workforce development often bog down internal teams and have the potential to create delays.
  • Finding committed, high quality behavioral health providers.
  • The behavioral healthcare industry average a 40% provider turnover rate.


  • We integrate into an organization’s workflows and we handle the onboarding process for the providers an organization chooses.
  • We manage recruitment, HR, training, cultural sensitivity training, account management, payroll, licensing, DEA, benefits, malpractice and PTO.
  • Tap into a national network of pre-vetted, passionate behavioral health providers and actively participate in the interview process, saving time and money over staffing agencies or internal recruitment efforts.

Our 95% provider retention rate provides continuity of care for your patients, and savesmoney and time for your team.

Developing a Specialized Workforce

Provider shortage areas are not reserved for rural areas. As the needs of patient populations evolve and become more complex, access to specialized providers becomes ever more scarce and ever more important. Telehealth partnerships allow organizations to expand the expertise and diversity of their clinical teams without concern for time zones or distance. And with 77 percent of the country’s counties experiencing severe shortages in providers, according to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, that benefit is an invaluable one.
Licensed clinical social workers and psychiatric nurse practitioners are two of the most in-demand mental health professionals, according to the Seattle Times. And, the Department of Health and Human Services expects the nation to see a shortfall of up to 30,000 psychiatrists by 2024.

As the proverb promises, necessity is the mother of invention. And at innovaTel, we embrace the challenge by working tirelessly to improve access to care through partnerships that expand upon and supplement clinical teams — with remote licensed clinical social workers, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners.
It is those providers, and their expertise across various patient populations and specialties, that help clinical teams more easily diversify without the challenges and time it takes to build a team in its entirety internally.