Entrepreneur Albert Saad said he plans to open six Doctors Express locations over the next five years, including two in the coming months: in South Plainfield in January and West Orange in February.
Saad said he has raised capital from 18 investors — nine of them physicians. And while he would not disclose the amount of capital raised, he said each location represents an investment of more than $1 million each.
Saad said even though the practices are independent, each one operates like a franchise.
“From a business perspective, you have advantages — such as marketing, group purchasing power, working with vendors — by virtue of bringing the power of the collective to bear,” he said.
Saad has hired Dr. Avery Browne to be the medical director; Browne will divide his time between South Plainfield and West Orange. Physicians have been hired to cover the centers’ extended hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. week days and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
Currently, there are five Doctors Express locations in the state, all independently owned, in Paramus, Lyndhurst, Florham Park, Hamilton and Bound Brook.
Saad said he plans to be in-network with all the major health plans serving the state and will provide a far lower cost alternative to hospital emergency rooms, which tend to get jammed up with low-acuity injuries and ailments.
Saad said he has no trouble recruiting physicians, who are paid a competitive salary.
“From a physician’s recruitment standpoint, the appeal is quite compelling,” Saad said.
The doctors are not on call around the clock, as they might be in the hospital arena, and they tend to like “the higher acuity inherent in being in an urgent care environment.