February 2, 2023

Youth psychiatric hospital to stop co-mingling some patients

HAYS, Kan. (AP) — The operator of a children’s psychiatric hospital in Hays has agreed to stop co-mingling patients needing short- and long-term care to comply with federal requirements.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services gave the KVS Wheatland Hospital until April 1 to separate its psychiatric residential treatment from its acute care services. At issue are regulations that say residential treatment must be self-contained.

The facility is the only children’s inpatient provider in western Kansas. KVS spokeswoman Jenny Kutz says KDADS granted a dual license about 10 years ago to allow the hospital to meet unique needs in the underserved rural area.

She says the 24-bed hospital will now designate 12 each for acute and residential care, although she says the “flexibility is not quite the same.”