Update– December 21, 2012:The New York Post has substantially disavowed significant portions of an October 22 news story about Jeffrey Moses. The story contained allegations that the well-known interventional cardiologist had tested positive for cocaine but was allowed to continue performing procedures at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Now, the Post says, allegations of cocaine use were “subsequently proven to be conclusively false by two identical tests which were negative” and by “a court-ordered examination of Dr. Moses in May 2006 by a forensic psychiatrist who opined that he had no cocaine addiction problem.” The Post said its article gave a “false impression” about Moses and that it “regrets” any misunderstanding caused by that part of the article and “any harm it may have caused Dr. Moses personally and professionally.”
Here is the entire Editor’s Note, which was placed at the top of the story on December 20:
EDITOR’S NOTE: On October 22, 2012, The Post published an article about Dr. Jeffrey Moses, a world-renowned interventional cardiologist. Dr. Moses believes that the article gave readers the false impression that he is currently a cocaine user who is, and was for years, allowed by his hospital to operate on patients while under its influence. As the article reported, allegations of cocaine use were made by Dr. Moses’ ex-wife in their 2005 divorce case and the positive test referred to in the article was, according to Dr. Moses, a “false positive” which was subsequently proven to be conclusively false by two identical tests which were negative. The decision by New York Presbyterian Hospital not to discipline Dr. Moses and to allow him to continue to operate was made in light of the negative tests and a court-ordered examination of Dr. Moses in May 2006 by a forensic psychiatrist who opined that he had no cocaine addiction problem. Any understanding readers may have taken from the article that Dr. Moses was performing cardiovascular surgery while under the influence of cocaine was not intended. The Post regrets if any readers so misunderstood this part of the article and any harm it may have caused Dr. Moses personally and professionally.
October 22, 2012– Leading interventional cardiologist Jeffrey Moses tested positive for cocaine use but was allowed to continue his work at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to a news report in the New York Post. Two ex-wives of Moses accused Moses of “regularly using cocaine for years, often even before heading to work.” The accusations come from divorce records.
Reporter Dan Mangan writes that “after a court-ordered drug test came back positive for cocaine in 2005 and New York-Presbyterian Hospital was informed, he was not suspended from his busy schedule of heart procedures.”
In addition to the cocaine allegations, the two ex-wives told the court that “they suffered beatings at the hands of Moses.” The Post reports that Moses was arrested in 2004 for allegedly attacking his second wife, Laurie Levinberg, in their Park Avenue apartment. The case was dismissed after Moses “served a pretrial probationary period.”
A 2005 court-ordered drug test of Moses’ hair was positive for cocaine, which Moses reported to his hospital, but claimed that the result was a false positive. He said two subsequent tests were negative and proved that he was drug-free. Moses told the Post that he might have taken cocaine 25 or 30 years ago. He also denied assaulting either wife.
After 22 years of marriage to Moses Levinberg sued for divorce in 2005. She claimed that Moses took cocaine constantly, “day and night, and performed his operations while high on cocaine.”
Moses’ marriage to his first wife, Carin Savel, ended in 1983 after six years years. In an affidavit filed in 2005, Savel said that Moses “was a major cocaine user, usually partaking every morning before going to the hospital.”
Moses responded to the Post story in a comment published on heartwire:
“These are old allegations that were put forth in the context of a contentious divorce that were vetted and found untrue years ago.” He added: “It is all nonsense. The allegations have been vetted by the courts and by Presbyterian and found to be baseless. That they are being repeated now is causing me a great deal of distress.”
As previously reported on CardioBrief, Moses is among the highest paid interventional cardiologists in the country. In 2010 he was reported to be earning at least $3 million a year. Long affiliated with the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and the annual TCT interventional cardiology meeting, Moses played a key role in bringing CRF leaders Martin Leon, Gregg Stone, and others to Lenox Hill from the Washington Hospital Center. The group subsequently moved to Columbia University.