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Northwestern doc group acquires independent Chicago practice

The physicians group affiliated with Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine has acquired one of the Chicago area's largest independent medical practices.

In acquiring Chicago Lake Shore Medical Associates, the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation is adding about 50 doctors to its ranks, in specialties such as dermatology, gastroenterology and plastic surgery.

Read More With nearly 800 doctors in several specialties, the faculty foundation is already the second-largest practice in the Chicago area. Its members practice at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Streeterville, which announced the deal, and Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in the northern suburbs.

Dr. Robert Havey, a Feinberg alumnus whose patients have included Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert and WBBM-TV/Channel 2 newsman Bill Kurtis, founded Chicago Lake Shore in 1980. Until the acquisition, he held all equity in the practice, an unusual arrangement for physicians groups, where ownership is more often divided among partners.

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Havey and (Chicago Lake Shore's) outstanding team of health care professionals,” Norm Botsford, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the faculty foundation, said in a statement.

The deal comes amid a slew of acquisitions of independent physicians groups. The smaller practices are finding survival amid an environment of higher operational costs and shrinking revenue. Coupled with the large investments needed to shift to electronic health records, many practices are joining with either hospitals or larger groups, rather than going it alone.

In 2011, the faculty foundation ranked behind only Advocate Medical Group in net revenue, with $454 million, according to Crain's annual list of the largest physicians groups, published April 23.

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