Mental Health Beds in Kansas for Youth

Dayton LaMunyon
Fiscal Analyst

Iraida Orr
Principal Research Analyst

The first place for a youth to receive mental health treatment in Kansas is in a community mental health center. If the child needs more intensive care than can be provided safely and effectively in the community, the child may be treated in one of the following placements.

Children’s Inpatient Acute Beds

Kansas does not operate any state-run inpatient psychiatric facilities for youth with mental illness. Instead, inpatient acute psychiatric care is provided by private hospitals.
There are 212 children’s inpatient acute beds across the state. Beginning in calendar year 2023, 14 new beds will become available in Hays pursuant to a contract between the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and KVC Hospitals.

State Institutional Alternative (SIA) Beds

Private psychiatric hospitals providing inpatient acute psychiatric services can enroll in the SIA program. SIA providers receive patients based on daily capacity. KVC Kansas City, KVC Wichita, and Via Christi are currently enrolled in the SIA program. Once the KVC facility in Hays opens in calendar year 2023, it will join the SIA program.

Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs)

PRTFs provide out-of-home residential psychiatric treatment to youth whose needs cannot be effectively and safely met in a community setting.

Prior to receiving services in a PRTF, all community-based services must have been exhausted. Community-based services include Home and Community Based Services under waivers, such as the Serious Emotional Disturbance waiver and the Intellectual and Developmental Disability waiver.

A PRTF is not a permanent or long-term placement. Instead, it is a treatment facility providing all psychiatric services needed by the child. The programs provide active treatment in a structured therapeutic environment.

Admission to a PRTF begins by requesting PRTF services from the child’s Medicaid managed care organization (MCO). The child is then assessed for medical necessity. The MCO must render its decision within 14 days, and the child’s guardian can appeal if the request for PRTF services is rejected. The child is then placed on a waitlist for a PRTF if medical necessity is met.

There are currently 9 PRTFs across the state operating a total of 424 PRTF beds.

Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs)

QRTPs provide residential treatment under the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. QRTPs treat children with serious emotional or behavioral disorders or disturbances. QRTP services are provided to foster children only. The goal is to provide services at QRTPs to allow foster children to successfully transition back to family care.

QRTPs are tasked with:

  • Facilitating family participation in the child’s treatment, to the extent involvement is appropriate and in the child’s best interest;
  • Facilitating outreach to family members, documenting how outreach is made, and maintaining contact information for known family and fictive kin of the child;
  • Documenting how family members are integrated in treatment, including post-discharge, and how sibling connections are maintained;
  • Providing discharge planning and family-based aftercare support for at least 6 months post-discharge; and
  • Having 24/7 access to care from registered or licensed nursing staff and other licensed clinical staff.

There are currently 147 QRTP beds across the state. The map and chart below illustrate current mental health beds for youth across the state.

Mental Health Beds for Youth in Kansas