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Private Equity Moves into Medical Practice

By Howard Wolinsky

BACK IN 2003, urologist and entrepreneur Richard Harris, MD, and his colleagues started organizing what became UroPartners in 2005, a roll-up of several Chicago-area urology practices. It grew into being the largest urology practice in Illinois and the Midwest with 90 providers caring for 100,000 unique patients each year.

“We’re massive,” Dr. Harris said of UroPartners. “We extend from downtown Chicago all the way into Southern Wisconsin, from the Lakefront all the way out to Wheaton. And we have a practice presence in the far South Suburbs around Orland Park.”

But massive proved to be not big enough without a national presence.

“We always felt that surviving as a small entity of one or two or even three or four was going to become increasingly challenging,” Dr. Harris said. “We felt that just being a bigger-sized group would allow us to get some economies of scale and share overhead.”

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