McDocs for the Rich

Need to reach your primary-care physician for any reason at any time of day or night? MD2 is there–for a price, of course.

Would you shell out $20,000 a year for 24-hour-a-day access to a physician? Drs. Howard Maron and Scott Hall are counting on it. Their Seattle-based MD2 International is offering deluxe primary medical care. That rich fee for a couple ($13,200 for individuals) doesn’t replace your regular insurance or cover the costs of hospitalization or consultations with specialists. It does provide basic office services like immunizations and annual physicals, the coordination of specialist care, the occasional house call–and quick responses to questions via phone or e-mail.

Maron and Hall are targeting 28 cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Led by Duane Dobrowits, a 28-year veteran of hospital administration and now MD2′s chief executive, the company will approach physicians in affluent zip codes. After Maron locates the prospects, Dobrowits moves in for a face-to-face meeting.

So far MD2 has signed up one practice, in Bellevue, Wash. Drs. Ronald O’Quin and Robert Bjurstrom, who are both certified in critical care, pulmonary and internal medicine, had been seeing 1,500-plus patients between them and working 80-hour weeks. “We didn’t feel we were doing a very good job,” says O’Quin.