A student fears death if she is unable to get her own medical records after they were repossessed in a hospital bankruptcy and left tied up in litigation by creditors.
Caitlin Secrist, 21, suffers from severe acute pancreatitis, and was left in limbo after two hospitals near her home in Florence, Arizona shut down in bankruptcy proceedings in June 2018, the
A surgeon a Johns Hopkins, one of the few in the county able to perform the procedure Caitlin needs, isn’t able to move forward with her treatment without access to her records and scans, in order to ensure she has been given the correct diagnosis.
Meanwhile Caitlin has been left in severe pain, eating all of her food through a tube into her stomach, as the medical records of more than 300 patients are left in limbo while creditors squabble over who should pay for them.
Caitlin Secrist, 21, suffers from severe acute pancreatitis, and was left in limbo after two hospitals near her home in Florence, Arizona shut down in bankruptcy
Severe acute pancreatitis, which normally affects the elderly or heavy drinkers and drug users, is fatal in as many as 50 per cent of case, according to a 2016 study. In Caitlin’s case, genetic factors appear to have caused the malfunction in her pancreas.
The medical records imbroglio began in June, when Florence Hospital at Anthem and Gilbert Hospital shut down amid bankruptcy.
A judge appointed Resolute Commercial Services as the receiver.
Largest among the creditors is New York investment company Indigo-DLI Holdings I LLC, which sought to recoup $13 million in loans.
Though the bankruptcy litigation proceedings are complex, Indigo has tried to block a plan to release patient records, saying that the fee to the medical record provider would come out of money that it is owed.
Caitlin’s parents Suzette and Bill fear for her life as they struggle to get her medical records from creditors who are holding them in limbo
The Republic reported that all of the parties to the litigation expressed sympathy towards patients whose records are in limbo – all except for Indigo, that is.
‘My client does not object to any patient obtaining a copy of his/her records at the patient’s expense,’ Indigo attorney Kyle Hirsch later said in a written statement. ‘My client does object to being forced to pay the cost of patient record fulfillment.’
Bradley Cosman, an attorney for Resolute, told the newspaper that it is too technically difficult to reactivate the entire electronic-records system to respond to an individual request.
‘The Receiver empathizes with former patients and has been working since his appointment to preserve and protect medical records,’ Cosman said in an email. ‘Unfortunately, circumstances outside the Receiver’s control — including the estate’s lack of funding, unilateral actions taken by creditors, technological challenges associated with migrating electronically-stored medical records, and other factors — have significantly complicated and delayed the issue.’
Caitlin says that if she gets the treatment she needs, she hopes to study to become a nurse
Caitlin plans to appear in court to appeal to a judge to break the deadlock over her patient records.
‘Without those records, we can’t go forward. We can’t make me better,’ she told the Republic. ‘Having my life, practically, in the hands of a judge and people I don’t even know, who don’t even know my situation, it’s upsetting.’
She hopes that the creditors will hear her appeal and help her get the records that may save her life.
If she gets the treatment she needs, she hopes to study to become a nurse someday.
‘I want to pay back for all those nurses that made me happy when I was in the hospital,’ Caitlin said. ‘I want to make that kid feel special in the ER.’