Why is Funding For Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) Important?

  • The state must maintain its commitment to former clients of state hospitals who have moved from institutional care to community-based services.
  • The CMHCs have played a critical role in accomplishing significant bed reductions in our state mental health hospitals, declining from 1,003 in FY90 to 340 today. While bed days have decreased, our inpatient system is nearing capacity due to an increase in admissions.
  • Community-based services have proven effective in diverting thousands of individuals from state hospitalization. For children, intensive wraparound services allow them to stay at home and achieve higher performance in school.  For adults, it means living independently and becoming competitively employed.
  • CMHCs are the public safety net for adults and children with mental illnesses. The number of SPMI adults served by CMHCs has grown from 7,775 in FY92, to over 19,000 today.  The number of children/adolescents with SED served by CMHCs has grown from 6,034 in FY92, to over 31,000 today.
  • CMHCs provide services in every county in the state, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is a funding issue that effects every CMHC in the state and therefore effects each of the 105 counties served by the CMHCs.
  • Without CMHC services, law enforcement, local emergency rooms, schools and families will be adversely affected. The failure to keep CMHC programs fully funded increases the census in state hospitals, impacts foster care and nursing homes, to say nothing of correctional facilities and juvenile detention facilities.  We know it costs on average, $428 per day for treatment at one of our State psychiatric hospitals; $80 per day on average to be incarcerated at Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility; $10 per day on average for Medicaid expenditures for community-based mental health treatment; and $22 per day on average for Medicaid expenditures for the most chronic mental health conditions.
  • The cost-benefit ratios for early treatment and prevention programs range from 1:2 to 1:10, meaning that a $1 invested yields $2 to $10 savings. We also know that Intensive Case Management intervention is associated with significant reductions in inpatient, psychiatric 30-day readmission rates, and associated costs among adults who are at elevated risk of inpatient, psychiatric recidivism.
  • CMHCs have a state mandate to serve regardless of an ability to pay. Over 100,000 Kansans walk through the doors of a CMHC each year – over 70,000 are the working poor and their children.
  • Because of current events in our everyday lives and around the world, there is an increasing number of individuals with severe illnesses coming to the CMHCs. Without adequate funding, neither the necessary amount of services nor array of services may be available at the time of need.
  • CMHCs have met or exceeded every target and objective set in reducing the use of state hospital beds. The CMHCs have simultaneously succeeded in providing quality community care for virtually thousands of seriously disabled former state hospital patients.  The outcomes are impressive…

For SED Children and Adolescents receiving case management                                      FY97                  FY09

Living In a Permanent Home                                                                                          75%                       85%

Receiving A, B, or C Grades                                                                                           66%                       73%

Report No Law Enforcement Contact                                                                             69%                       95%

For SED Children and Adolescents on the HCBS/SED Waiver                                          FY01                  FY09

Living In a Permanent Home                                                                                         92%                       93%
Receiving A, B, or C Grades                                                                                          75%                       74%
Report No Law Enforcement Contact                                                                            87%                       94%

For SPMI Adults receiving case management                                                                       FY97                  FY09

Living Independently                                                                                                          47%                       89%
Competitively Employed                                                                                                    18%                       18%
Participating in Some Form of Education                                                                           2%                         4%

Consumer satisfaction levels are high for families, youth and adults…

Families and Youth

  • 87% of families report overall satisfaction with convenience of services (getting services needed; receiving needed services timely; reasonably located; reasonably scheduled at a convenient time; services offered match what are on the plan of care).
  • 89% of families report overall satisfaction with the full range of service options (staff help get families connected to other community programs; all community-based options were presented when higher levels of care were discussed; staff help you learn ways to improve your child’s functioning in the community).
  • 96% of families report overall satisfaction with the quality and appropriateness of services (services are built around child’s strengths; child is involved in decision making about treatment plan; services are adjusted when no working well for family).
  • 93% of families report overall satisfaction with cultural competency and responsiveness of services.
  • 92% of families report that Parent Support was a helpful service.
  • 89% of families report that Wraparound Services are helpful.
  • 94% of families report that In-Home Family Therapy was a helpful service.
  • 84% of youth report overall satisfaction with services.
  • 87% of youth agreed that staff kept their scheduled appointments.


  • 84% of adult consumers report overall satisfaction with access to services.
  • 83% of adult consumers report overall satisfaction with the quality of services.
  • 86% of adult consumers report overall satisfaction with treatment planning.
  • 87% of adult consumers report overall satisfaction with services.

Source:  FY 2009 Kansas Family Satisfaction Survey; Kansas Consumer Satisfaction Survey

Community-based services are most definitely a good value.  Paying for the cost of treatment is unavoidable.  Our only decision is how we pay for it.  Treating people in communities is far less expensive than treating them in institutions.  Invest in a system of care that works!