MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Last week, we broke the news of the North Alabama Pain Clinic, locking their doors for good, leaving hundreds of patients without care - and for some - without their medical records.
The Decatur clinic remains open for patients to come pick up their medical records, but now many patients are struggling to find new pain clinics that will admit them as patients.
Lisa Boyer ran out of her medication last week, so when she picked up her medical records at the Decatur office, she accepted their offer for her to visit Dr. Murphy's only remaining open location in Tennessee.
Things did not go as planned.
"There have been a few times I've seriously considered going to the ER," said Boyer.
For Lisa, it's about more than just medication, it's about guidance managing the pain she's experienced ever since she was hit by a drunk driver.
"There’s a whole list of issues they just left everyone to deal with. It’s not right," she says.
She made the 50 mile drive to his Lewisburg, Tenn. clinic, only to find, her bill was more than the expected co-pay. "It'll be $183 dollars but we’ll do you a favor and only charge you a $100 dollars. Are you kidding me?" said Boyer.
It turns out, her Alabama Medicaid isn't honored in the Volunteer State.
"Nobody thought to tell me this before I came here? Nobody said a word to me in Decatur that there was going to be a fee? Anything?" asked Boyer.
Lisa is on full disability and a fixed income, so that $80 dollar discount merely scratched the surface.
"Well I handed them over my credit card. She started to run it and I said wait don’t do it. Just give me back my credit card and I grabbed it and I left," she said.
Now she's back to square one, on a 2-3 week waiting list to be taken into a practice based out of Madison.
"The pain is incredible and every day it gets worse and it gets worse but how much more does a person have to take to be? I just feel like belittled," she said.
She wishes she had more notice North Alabama Pain Clinic was locking their doors. That frustration only intensified when they gave her a piece of paper along with her medical records. It's a notification that mentions the practice knew they were going to close, January 2nd.
"That gave me almost 3 weeks had they notified me, I could have found another physician and I wasn’t worthy enough to be notified?" asked Boyer.
A representative of North Alabama Pain Clinic tells WHNT News 19, they attempted to call all patients with legitimate phone numbers.
Lisa did not receive a call, despite saying they knew her number.
"They have my house phone, they have my cell phone. As a matter of fact, my cell phone number did change and that was 3 months ago and I went in and watched them change it on their records," she said.
Now all Lisa can do is wait and hope for a call back from another pain clinic.
"You don't do that to people, especially when you take an oath as a physician to care for the people that you've sworn to care for," said Boyer.
Another frustration Lisa is facing is when she got home, she realized North Alabama Pain Clinic only gave her 2 months of her medical records. That excludes several back surgeries and procedures she's had done.
By law, the practice has to give Lisa her full record if she requests it. Lisa tells WHNT News 19 she plans on doing that, in the next few days.