Privacy Rules


Joynal Abedin's family worried about him when he didn't return home from work. For more than two weeks, they wondered where he was. Then they got a $17,000 bill from the Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia. His wife rushed to the hospital to see if the bill had anything to do with her husband. But citing federal privacy rules, the hospital told her nothing. A day later, after visiting the D.C. medical examiner's office, she found out he'd been killed in a hit and run accident. The family wants to know why the police were unable to find them and tell them, but the hospital was able to find them to send a bill.