Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center and the former director of its heart-transplant program, Lawrence Zisman, settled a $5 million lawsuit filed by Zisman after the hospital suspended him and shut down the program in October 2003. Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed. The hospital suspended Zisman and another physician amid charges that patients were listed as having "urgent status" for a donor heart when there was insufficient medical evidence to support the listing. Zisman claimed the hospital violated its bylaws in suspending him.
According to a statement released by Zisman's attorney, Richard Honen, a peer-review committee cleared Zisman of wrongdoing and his privileges were reinstated. Zisman plans to work at another facility, the statement said. The second physician has not filed a lawsuit, an Albany Medical spokesman said. The spokesman said Albany Medical hired replacements for the physicians and in November reopened its heart-transplant program with a new system for classifying patients. -- by Joseph Mantone