Better pay and working conditions for mental health workers must be a priority issue for Kansas lawmakers in the 2020 session, which begins next week.
There are two primary mental health hospitals in Kansas, one in Larned and the other in Osawatomie. In late 2019, the federal government told the state it found deficiencies at an acute care unit in Osawatomie, and ordered it to develop a plan to rectify the problems.
The state has submitted a plan, but faces loss of federal Medicare payments in March if the government remains unsatisfied. Even if those immediate challenges are addressed, the 60-bed Adair unit is not a therapeutic environment, according to Gov. Laura Kelly.