To Address the Severe Bed Shortage for Children’s Mental Health in Kansas, KVC Hospitals Adds 92 Beds
Two out of three youth will be exposed to trauma before age 16, greatly affecting their brain development. Research shows that some of the worst health and social problems arise from childhood trauma. In Kansas, suicide rates far outpace the rest of the United States and suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens and adults ages 15 to 34. Additionally, there has been an exponential increase in psychiatric visits to Kansas emergency rooms in recent years. All of these factors create an immediate need for families to have more access to treatment when a child is experiencing a mental health emergency. Children’s mental health can’t wait.
KVC Hospitals Is Advancing Access to Youth Psychiatric Care
KVC Hospitals, the children’s psychiatric treatment arm of KVC Health Systems, has stepped in to ensure the children’s psychiatric acute hospital system does not go the way of the adult system. Many adults sit on a waitlist each day in hopes that a psychiatric bed will become available. To meet the urgent mental health care needs of Kansas children, KVC has created 92 new children’s psychiatric beds across the state, for both inpatient acute treatment and psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs). KVC is accomplishing this through 100% fundraising as a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency. This has been a difficult, multi-year project but KVC is committed to solving this critical need on behalf of children and families in crisis.
KVC Hospitals has been an excellent partner to the state of Kansas for nearly 30 years and wants to continue to partner with state leaders and other healthcare providers to make a difference in children’s lives. In July 2019, KVC opened a 54-bed inpatient acute hospital in Wichita. Between January and March 2020, KVC added 12 inpatient acute beds in a newly designed unit of its Kansas City treatment center and added 38 PRTF beds in Hays.
KVC Hospitals Expansion in Kansas:
The System Needs Strengthening
While this expansion means more help for children and families, the overall children’s mental health system still needs more resources and support.
- SOLVE CHILDREN ON WAITING LISTS – More than 120 children in crisis are still on the PRTF waiting list. Operating PRTFs is increasingly difficult due to reimbursement rates. From 2011-19, the number of PRTF beds in Kansas dropped from 780 to 298. KVC wants to work closely with KDADS and other providers to end child waiting lists.
- As of March 2020, KVC Hospitals added 38 new PRTF beds in Hays for a total of 50 PRTF beds and also operates 36 PRTF beds in Kansas City.
- RESTORE ACUTE TREATMENT IN WESTERN KANSAS – KVC Hospitals successfully provided acute treatment in western Kansas for more than 10 years and we would like to continue providing it. Due to the end of a dual acute/PRTF license to meet rural needs, there is no longer children’s acute psychiatric treatment in western Kansas.
- The State has approved $4 million in the budget for children’s acute psychiatric beds in western Kansas. As the premier provider of these services in western Kansas, KVC seeks to be a part of the opportunity to return these much needed services to the families in rural and frontier Kansas.
- ASSURE SUSTAINABLE FUNDING – KVC serves children with the most severe and complex needs, children that other organizations are unable or unwilling to serve. KVC has a partnership with the State as the state hospital alternative for children through the High Acuity Psychiatric Hospitalization for Youth (HAPHY) grant. It is proven to result in higher quality outcomes and lower costs, but limited funding exists.
- KVC Hospitals continues to provide this imperative care to ensure no children are placed on a waitlist, even as funding continues to lapse.
Supporting Children’s Mental Health
KVC provides two types of psychiatric treatment: Inpatient acute treatment where a youth is actively in a mental health emergency and needs immediate stabilization. The average length of stay is four to six days. Psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs) where youth receive intensive clinical services in a structured, home-like environment to practice coping skills and emotion regulation. The average length of stay is 80 to 90 days.
In both the inpatient acute and PRTF settings, KVC uses neuroscience-based treatments that go beyond stabilizing children. Youth learn about their brains, how to identify and regulate emotions, and skills to help them develop resiliency. KVC ensures youth go back into their communities with hands-on tools and resources for continued success.
KVC Hospitals believes that children come first. We instill this belief in our employees and it is the foundation of our culture. We ask employees, “What would you want for your own child?”. We treat the families we serve with the utmost respect and are honored to be the place that families go to when they need help.
About KVC Hospitals
KVC Hospitals is a network of nonprofit children’s psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment centers in Kansas and its sister organization, KVC Niles, provides residential treatment in Kansas City, Missouri. Each year, we serve thousands of youth ages 6 to 18 who are experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, impacts of childhood trauma, and other behavioral and mental health needs. KVC is accredited by The Joint Commission and partners with a diverse array of organizations serving children and families including Sesame Street in Communities, public school districts and other healthcare organizations. Learn more at www.kvchospitals.org and follow us on Facebook at KVC Hospitals.