Why Doctors Run Late

Published in the NY Times

July 9, 2014

To the Editor:

The best way to shorten waits to see a doctor (editorial, July 8) is to reduce physicians’ crushing paperwork burden. The average American doctor spends almost nine hours each week on billing and bureaucratic tasks, twice the time spent by physicians in Canada.

The difference stems from the complex, business-oriented payment system in the United States, and Canada’s simple, single-payer system.

East Chatham, N.Y., July 9, 2014

The writer, an internist, is a professor at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.

A version of this letter appears in print on July 14, 2014, on page A18 of the New York edition with the headline: Why Doctors Run Late.

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