MagMutual Invests in People, Technology

Note: The article below first appeared in the June 2013 issue of the Medical Liability Monitor, a monthly newsletter reporting on the medical professional liability insurance and risk management industries. For subscription info, please visit

Note #2: This is the second part in a two-part article. The first part was published here yesterday.

Being at the vanguard of medical liability requires a team of innovators. Since his hire, Morrell and MagMutual have invested in key new employees and expanded job descriptions.

“Like many of our peers in the industry, we’ve had really strong financial success in recent years, finding ourselves with more capital than we expected,” Morrell said. “We pay strong dividends to our policyholders, but part of our responsibility as a mutual is to think, ‘How do we invest some of that capital to the maximum benefit of our policyholders?’ We want to invest in things that support and make the everyday practice of our physicians better than it would be without us.”

One of the first places Morrell and MagMutual leadership invested was in new technology intended to interact with policyholders in new and exciting ways.

“What we did was split the IT department in two,” Morrell said. “Kirby Sims is running all of our internal IT, but we also hired Jamie Sapp to develop technology-based solutions to help physicians and healthcare personnel manage patient safety and risk. Our ‘external’ offering, if you like.”

MagMutual plans to launch a revamped version of its website this fall. The new site will focus on data, apps and social media tools for its policyholders intended to help in the everyday practice of medicine.

“Most insurance companies’ websites are great if you’re going for an interview at that company—you can see staff pictures, what their financials are, get all the internal info you want,” Morrell said. “Our website is going to be focused on the external, asking ‘How can it help a physician practice medicine?’ The physician will login; in the login process, the site will recognize what specialty they practice, in which territory they practice and what they are most interested in. All relevant data will then be fed to that physician. It’s all going to be about us scouring the industry to bring useful, condensed relevant information to our policyholders.”

To further give its policyholders information that will help them in their daily practice of medicine, MagMutual hired Mary Gregg, MD, to be its chief medical officer and head the company’s patient safety initiatives this past April.

“We were very fortunate to hire Dr. Mary Gregg, who ran patient safety for the multi-award winning Swedish Health Services in Seattle, Wash.,” Morrell said. “Risk management is predominantly focused on avoiding and containing the number of medical liability claims, but patient safety is a much wider subject. We want to help our policyholders concentrate on improving patient safety within their practices, which will lead to a reduction in claims and higher patient retention, but also lead to increased remuneration as patient safety becomes an increasingly important factor in how reimbursement is characterized.”


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