CHICAGO (CBS) — A new tune from the Indiana State Department Of Health. They now say they’ve added staffing to address the backlog of death certificates that we’ve been reporting on for weeks, and they’re acknowledging some technical issues with their new death records system.
CBS 2 also has been asking for the number of death certificates being held up, and now the state gave some specifics to Morning Insider Tim McNicholas.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Mainly Clear And Not As Cold Sunday Night
“He loved to hunt, he loved to fish, just a nice guy,” Denise Kuzma said of her father, Don — a great grandfather from Crown Point, a retired Lake County Sheriff’s officer, and a guy who called a spade a spade.
What would he say about the backlog of death certificates in Indiana?
“Oh, I couldn’t I couldn’t say it out loud,” Denise said, laughing.
Don died in December, and his family still hasn’t been able to get his death certificate.
His daughter Denise said the doctor who signed off on it forgot to put the cause of death, and now the funeral home has told her it’s no easy fix, because of statewide challenges with Indiana’s new online death records system.
“He would be really angry, he would be really, really angry that, you know, it’s taken this long, and we can’t close things out for them,” Denise said.
For weeks, CBS 2 has reported on other Lake County families facing similar struggles; holding up life insurance and other processes that require death certificates.
“This program has been extremely buggy, glitchy,” said Jean Lahm, community relations director for Geisen Funeral Homes.READ MORE: At Least 20 Shot, 2 Killed In Weekend Violence In Chicago
Lahm said they’re waiting on about 50 certificates between their four locations.
“I would say to the state of Indiana that, you know, at this point it is an emergency situation. Our families absolutely have to move forward and get closure,” Lahm said.
Lahm and other funeral home workers point to bugs in the new system, but the Indiana State Department Of Health State has insisted for weeks that the main problem is many doctors who sign off on certificates were not properly registered for the new system.
Last month they said “we are not aware of any significant interface challenges.”
This week, for the first time, the state said they’ve “added additional staffing to address technical or user issues with system,” and they’re “working with local health departments, funeral directors and medical providers to register, train and troubleshoot any technical challenges with the system.”
CBS 2 has asked the state for weeks how many death certificates are being held up, and now they’ve given us a number: 611.
“We’re grieving the loss of my father, and it’s like we can’t even grieve, because you’re so caught up in everything else that’s happening. It’s like you can’t even go on to the next step,” Denise said.
Denise hopes that additional staff will resolve her issues soon.MORE NEWS: Boy, 11, Shot And Wounded In West Pullman; He Is Second Child Shot In Area Within Week
Geisen Funeral Home, in Crown Point, said they’ve seen slight improvement over the past week, but they’re still facing plenty of hurdles.