Vital Sounds 2023, Quarter 2

Vital Sounds 2023, Quarter 2

Message from the President, Annual Report

May 23, 2023


Message from the President, Annual Report

May 23, 2023

By Kurt Scott
President and CEO

The following message from Kurt Scott, KAMMCO President and CEO, comes from the KAMMCO 2022 Annual Report sent to members earlier this month.

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KAMMCO had another great year! These words were spoken and written by KAMMCO’s founding Board Chair, Jimmie Gleason, MD, many times over the years. Sadly, we lost Dr. Gleason on January 24, 2023. Still, his spirit and energy for serving the Kansas healthcare community live on in everything we do.

As it happens, KAMMCO had another great year in 2022. Despite many challenges, our financial and operational results remain solid, steady, and responsible.

Uncertain Times

The medical liability landscape across the country is changing. Claim severity, or the cost of each claim, including the cost of defense, has risen. And a new phenomenon of exceptionally severe claims, far in excess of policy limits, has emerged as a growing trend nationally.

For example, a verdict was recently awarded in Minnesota for $110 million against a single orthopedic case. And in Iowa, several “nuclear” verdicts have been handed down, one of which required the clinic involved to file for bankruptcy. While we haven’t seen mega-verdicts like these in Kansas, dismissing them as something that couldn’t happen here would be foolish.

The knock-on effect of this escalating trend of unprecedented verdicts is that reinsurance costs, which are part of any liability carrier’s costs, have been driven up as reinsurers attempt to assess their exposure in the market. In addition, the interest of plaintiff’s attorneys has been piqued by the prospect of large verdict payouts – this could mean an increase in the number of filed claims in the years to come.

All this, coupled with rapidly rising inflation and increased government spending, makes for an increasingly challenging claim environment, even in once-conservative jurisdictions.

Solid, Steady, and Responsible

I’m proud to say that in 2022, KAMMCO remained steady in responding to these uncertain times. KAMMCO made modest adjustments to premium rates, held the line on overhead costs against inflationary pressures, and harvested gains on its equity portfolio to offset increasing claim cost trends. Using technology and innovation, KAMMCO did and continues to do more with less. KAMMCO members rewarded this stewardship with their continued support, generating one of the highest insured retention ratios in the professional liability insurance industry.

Over the last year, KAMMCO has continued our practice of reinvesting in Kansas healthcare. Our partnerships with the Kansas Medical Society and the Kansas Hospital Association ensured Kansas physicians, hospitals, and healthcare providers had strong advocates for them in the statehouse. Our Loss Prevention education program was once again offered in-person in Wichita and Topeka, and a record number of participants attended the event via webinar, in person, and online.

Finally, in response to the threat of mega verdicts and an increasing number of filed claims, our members can feel secure knowing that KAMMCO has over 33 years of experience managing challenging healthcare environments. This experience has earned us an industry-wide reputation as an aggressive defender of unmeritorious claims. What does this mean for our members? It means that the plaintiff’s attorneys think twice before they bring a claim against one of our insureds. They know KAMMCO has, and always will, aggressively defend good medicine, no matter the cost.

Your choice of insurance company matters, especially in such an unpredictable environment. KAMMCO rewards that choice with stability, responsibility, and advocacy. Rest assured, KAMMCO will be here when you need us.