Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the FAQs throughout this page for answers to the questions we most commonly receive. If you have additional questions, contact us and a member of our team will reach out to you.

Questions About KVC’s Services and Treatment Programs

KVC Hospitals follows all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state health departments to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our treatment centers. We regularly update our infection control policies as we receive new information from these authorities, and we provide all staff and clients with the recommended personal protection equipment (PPE) & education. You can see a list of many of the preventative measures we’ve implemented at kvchospitals.org/covid.

KVC Hospitals provides two types of psychiatric treatment—inpatient acute hospitalization and residential treatment. Both programs serve youth ages 6 to 18 who are struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, the impacts of trauma, and other behavioral or mental health needs. Learn more about the most common disorders and conditions we treat at kvchospitals.org/disorders. 

Inpatient acute hospitalization is used for a youth who is actively experiencing a mental health emergency. For example, they have a plan to attempt suicide, harm themself or harm others. It is critical that they receive therapeutic and medical services immediately to stabilize the crisis they are experiencing and identify what led to the challenging behaviors or emotions. Our goal is to help the client discharge as soon as safely possible so they can continue treatment in their community in an outpatient setting. The average length of stay for a child receiving this type of care is four to seven days. Learn more at kvchospitals.org/inpatient. 

Residential treatment serves youth who are not actively in a mental health emergency but are experiencing ongoing challenges with their behavioral or mental health. Typically, a child entering residential treatment has engaged in outpatient services in the community but has not experienced improvement. This involves a longer-term stay, averaging 60 to 90 days, and the goal is to teach the client emotion regulation and coping skills and give them opportunities to practice those skills before they discharge and return home. Learn more at kvchospitals.org/residential. 

We have three locations across Kansas in Kansas City, Wichita and Hays. 

  • KVC Hospitals Kansas City (inpatient acute hospitalization and residential treatment): 4300 Brenner Dr, Kansas City, KS 66104 (previously known as KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital) 
  • KVC Hospitals Wichita (inpatient acute hospitalization): 1507 W 21st St N, Wichita, KS 67203 
  • KVC Hospitals Hays (residential treatment): 205 E 7th St, Hays, KS 67601 (previously known as KVC Wheatland Hospital) 

See more about these locations and contact information at kvchospitals.org/locations. 

We treat many types of disorders and conditions that are common in youth ages 6 to 18. The disorders and behavioral challenges we treat most often include ADHD, aggression, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, disruptive behavior disorders, disruptive mood dysregulation, OCD, PTSD, self-harming, substance use and suicidal thoughts. Visit kvchospitals.org/disorders to learn more about each of these conditions and what you can do to help a child who may be struggling.

We provide many different types of therapy and we work with each client to find the treatment approach that best meets their needs and helps them heal. The primary types of therapy we provide include: 

Individual therapy: Our licensed therapists help youth identify and understand their challenges and learn new skills to deal with stress. Individual therapy can be provided in many different forms, such as traditional talk therapy or utilizing one of the expressive therapy methods we provide: art, music, dance, recreation, virtual reality, equine-assisted, and more. See a full list of the expressive therapies we provide at kvchospitals.org/expressivetherapies. Our therapists have training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Acute Traumatic Incident Processing (A-Tip), Trauma Systems Therapy (TST), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and more. 

Family therapy: This vital aspect of treatment is conducted by a therapist to strengthen the family system. Therapists help your family improve communication, enhance your family’s ability to help your child, and provide a better understanding of mental health challenges and behavioral concerns. 

Group therapy: Youth engage in therapy alongside other clients as treatment team members lead them through exercises that improve social skills, enhance coping skills, identify triggers, build resiliency and strengthen communication. Group therapy may involve traditional talk therapy or clients engaging in expressive therapy together. 

It’s best to determine this by speaking with a healthcare professional such as your child’s primary physician, your local community mental health center and/or a licensed mental health professional. A healthcare provider can conduct full physical and mental assessments and then develop a recommended treatment plan based on what they learn from those assessments. Visit kvchospitals.org/resources for free mental health assessment, e-books, and other resources that can provide more helpful information and education about children’s mental health treatment.

When a child is admitted to KVC, our team conducts a complete physical and biopsychosocial evaluation to assess the child and learn about factors that could contribute to the child’s health and wellness such as family medical history and life experiences (i.e., trauma experiences, medical conditions). This helps us determine if the child is reacting to the environment around them and/or if there is a mental illness present. We also look at the intensity of the child’s symptoms. 

Once the initial assessment is completed, the team creates an individualized plan for each child. Medication is prescribed only when it is considered a clinically necessary part of treatment. You can learn more about psychiatric medication benefits and KVC’s medication practices at kvchospitals.org/psychiatricmedication. 

Your child’s length of stay is contingent on their presenting symptoms, response to treatment, and access to community support after discharge. It is our goal to make your child’s stay as meaningful as possible and only as long as is needed to address the challenges that brought the child to KVC. The average length of stay for a child receiving inpatient acute treatment at one of our hospitals is four to seven days. The average length of stay for a child receiving care at one of our residential treatment centers is 60 to 90 days. These are only averages though and the actual lengths of stay can be shorter or longer based on the unique needs of each child who comes into our care. 

At times, your child may have a single bedroom, but generally, every child will have a roommate. Bedroom assignments are made based on presenting symptoms and/or disorders, gender identity, age and other factors that help assure safety among peers.

During the admission process, we talk with each child about the type of living environment that allows them to feel safest. This includes discussing gender identity and sexual orientation to the extent that the client is comfortable sharing. Based on the information we are given, we work to determine the rooming situation and unit placement that will help that client and all clients feel secure and supported. These decisions are made as a treatment team with a focus on safety and promoting continued healing for clients.

Yes! We have a comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment team onsite to ensure we are providing our clients with the best possible care for all their medical and mental health needs. This includes psychiatrists, psychologists, behavioral health technicians, therapists, nurses (RN, LPN and APRN), case managers, and a physician who oversees all medical needs.

Children receiving inpatient acute treatment in one of our hospitals do not participate in school while receiving treatment so that they can fully focus on their treatment and mental wellness. The clients receiving care in our residential treatment centers do attend school throughout their stay since it’s longer-term care and most clients receiving this level of care are able to focus on continuing treatment while attending school. We work with the school districts in Hays and Kansas City to ensure all educational needs are met, including Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) and special education needs.

Absolutely. Visiting and talking with your child can be very therapeutic and beneficial for them and we strongly encourage involvement from primary caregivers throughout the treatment process. During the intake process, the child’s therapist will provide guardians with an access code that can also be shared with other family and friends they want to have communication with the child during their treatment. This code will need to be provided anytime a visit or phone call is made. Additionally, the child’s therapist will provide guardians with program-specific visitation and phone hours, which are planned around school (for residential programs), meals and therapeutic activities. Onsite visitation is subject to restrictions based on current COVID-19 protocols as we are frequently ensuring our onsite policies align with any current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and state and local health authorities.

You will be given contact information for your child’s therapist and/or social service liaison/wellness coordinator. If you try to call and one of those team members is not immediately available, please leave a message so that they can return your call at their earliest convenience. If you have an emergency, call the front desk of your child’s treatment location to request immediate assistance. Visit kvchospitals.org/locations for contact information for each KVC hospital and residential treatment center.

We provide client guardians with an array of education to equip them with knowledge and tools for supporting youth throughout their treatment with us and after their discharge. We provide education about any diagnoses or disorders we find in the child, their symptoms and behaviors they display and why, and practical tools and methods they can use to support the child at home. We teach guardians about the different types of treatment and care we are giving their child while they are at KVC, how they can communicate with them throughout their stay, and what to expect when it’s time to discharge. We discuss all of this and more verbally with families and we also have online and printed resources that we use to help educate people such as our Admissions Handbook, a blog and free assessments and e-books.

Questions About the Admissions Process

For a child to receive services from one of our residential treatment centers in Kansas City or Hays, you will need to pre-schedule your child’s admission. This is because before a child is admitted for residential treatment, we typically need a referral from the child’s insurance company and/or community mental health center. Residential facilities operate differently than your typical hospital or emergency department and given the longer-term care required, there are a few more steps in the process before admission is completed. 

For treatment in one of our inpatient hospitals in Kansas City or Wichita, we do recommend that you call us ahead of time to ensure there is an open bed at that hospital and so that we can work with you on paperwork and consents before you arrive. This also allows us to schedule the admission time so that we can ensure the most efficient admission process possible for you and your child by ensuring the necessary treatment team members are available at that scheduled time. 

When you bring your child to be admitted to one of our hospitals or residential treatment centers, please bring the following items as they are applicable: the child’s healthcare information and immunization records, healthcare insurance card and medication list. 

If you are admitting your child to a residential treatment program, you should also bring at least seven sets of the child’s undergarments, enough clothing for one week, shoes, slippers, and any other items deemed important by the child (i.e., stuffed animal, books, photos, etc.)

When you arrive for admission, a nurse or other healthcare professional will meet you in the lobby and take you to one of our visit rooms. They will help you complete the admissions paperwork and go over any questions you have about your child’s treatment. Once all questions have been answered, you will be given time for hugs and goodbyes. The child will then be taken to their hospital unit or residential treatment unit where they will meet more of the treatment team and get acquainted. 

We know sometimes it can be difficult for parents or guardians to be onsite with their child during the admission process due to different life circumstances. When that is the case, as long as the child’s guardian sends us the completed consent paperwork ahead of time via email or fax, we can complete the admission process over the phone.

Questions About the Discharge Process

To help each child be successful after their stay at KVC Hospitals, their treatment team will work with their guardians to identify and coordinate follow-up care in the child’s home community. When possible, we will help schedule these appointments before the child discharges to ensure the child has access to the necessary resources upon returning home. We will create a discharge and aftercare plan, which includes a safety plan, with the child’s guardians and work with local providers to initiate services as soon as possible. The treatment team wants to see you and each child succeed, and we believe aftercare and follow-up services are extremely important to each child’s continued progress. Aftercare services might include individual therapy, family therapy and education, specialized educational services, medication management, psychosocial/supportive groups, substance use treatment, attendant care and/or case management services. 

KVC’s therapists, case managers, and discharge planners work with each child’s guardian and community partners to set up aftercare services to ensure continued stability. Every client that discharges from our hospital leaves with appointments set up for medication management (as needed), therapy and any other recommended services. We provide families with information about how to access local crisis services if a mental health emergency occurs again as well as how to contact KVC’s Admissions team if the need arises for future hospital stays. 

 When a client discharges from KVC Hospitals, they are sent home with: 

  • Three days’ worth of medication and a prescription for 30 days (if applicable). 
  • An Emotion Regulation Plan that helps identify safe people, places and activities that can help support the child’s ongoing wellbeing. 
  • Follow-up appointments to attend in the community to continue treatment in an outpatient setting. 
  • Discharge paperwork that goes over medication (when applicable), frequently asked questions, and other resources for caregivers to support the child’s ongoing needs after they leave KVC. 

Visit kvchospitals.org/discharge to learn more about what to expect during the discharge process, including what you can do to help your child have a smooth transition back to school. 

Payment Questions

We accept Kansas and Missouri Medicaid plans and most private insurance plans. To find out more about coverage with your insurance plan, please contact your insurance provider. They typically provide contact information on the back of your insurance card. They will be able to answer any questions you have about your specific coverage and plans including network status and deductibles.

If you are uninsured and have questions, call our Admissions department at 913-890-7468.

Most insurance plans require the provider (KVC Hospitals) to contact them to request authorization for acute inpatient behavioral health treatment. Our Utilization Review (UR) department is well versed in working with insurance companies to obtain prior authorization and will oversee this process upon a child’s admission. Someone from our UR department will follow up with the child’s guardian if any additional information is needed for this.

Questions from Providers, Organizations and Agencies Making a Referral

Referrals for our inpatient hospitals can be made by a family physician, hospital emergency department, community mental health center, school counselor or administrator, caseworker, licensed mental health professional, or another professional working to ensure the wellbeing of children and families. When a referral is made, guardian consent is required for admission. 

For psychiatric residential treatment, a referral is typically made by the insurance company and/or local community mental health center. Admission for this type of program also requires guardian consent. 

You can start the process of making a referral a few different ways: 

A child is assigned a treatment team that consists of a therapist and psychiatrist as well as other direct care professionals who work with the child throughout their stay, including nursing, case management and behavioral health technicians. If a child’s guardian gives consent, you can have regular contact with the child’s treatment team throughout their stay regarding treatment updates, progress, discharge planning, medication management, and other important information.

If a child’s guardian gives consent, you can be involved in the discharge planning process. Upon admission, we start to look toward the discharge goal including ensuring the client and family have a strong support network and plan for continuing outpatient treatment in the community. KVC’s therapists, case managers, and discharge planners work with each child’s guardian and community partners to set up aftercare services to ensure continued stability. Every client that discharges from our hospital leaves with appointments set up for medication management (as needed), therapy and any other recommended services. 

Yes! We can provide support for community partners in a range of formats whether that is providing a training tailored to your organization’s needs or providing consulting services. We can educate your team on a range of topics, including: 

To talk with us more about how we can support your organization, complete this form 

Other Questions

There are many ways you can become a partner to KVC and a lifeline to a child in need! Check out all of the ways below to get involved – or reach out to hospitals@kvc.org if you have another idea. 

  • Become part of our team! Visit kvchospitals.org/careers to view our open jobs, learn more about employee benefits, and find out how you can provide life-changing mental health services for children and teens. 
  • Become a partner by referring clients to us. Reach out to Annmarie Arensberg at aarensberg@kvc.org to learn more about our treatment programs. 
  • Become a volunteer to make a meaningful impact in our clients’ lives and to help bring some joy to their day. Learn more at kvchospitals.org/volunteer. 
  • Become a donor to help fund things that bring our clients some smiles during their stay at KVC, such as special activities, arts and crafts, holiday gifts, birthday surprises, and other impactful resources that go a long way in showing our clients they matter. Learn more at kvchospitals.org/donate 

We’re hiring at our psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment centers throughout Kansas in Kansas City, Wichita and Hays! Visit kvchospitals.org/careers to view our open jobs, learn more about employee benefits, and find out how you can provide life-changing mental health services for children and teens. 

You can learn about our leadership team and medical and psychiatry providers on our website at kvchospitals.org/leadership.