State's Only Med-Mal Firm Built From Scratch

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 12:00 am  

Corey Little, front, started Arkansas Mutual Insurance Co. in 2007. Investors like Tom Robinson, rear, helped provide the $2.5 million needed to start the state?s only med-mal mutual from scratch. (Photo by Michael Pirnique) (Photo by Michael Pirnique)

"The key is not the number of doctors; the key is the right doctors," Little said. "We're working hard to build an exclusive club for literally the best doctors in the state."

Little said Arkansas Mutual turns away around 30 percent of its applicants.

"On paper, a physician might look good - it's kind of like applying for a job," he said. "Do you buy a resume or find more out about that person?"

"They only take Arkansas physicians with good records," said David Jacks, a client and a longtime urologist in Pine Bluff. "If you're a member of their company, you're a good physician in Arkansas. I think that will be their reputation from here on out."

Jacks said he wasn't turned off by Arkansas Mutual's youth.

"I was with, for 29 years, a Texas medical liability company," he said. "I had a clean record, but the Texas company was increasing my rates every year."

He said he saw importance in the company's locality.

"State Vol is not an Arkansas company," he said, referring to State Volunteer, which now writes the largest number of policies in the state. "Arkansas Mutual is the only company [of its kind] originated in Arkansas. And who knows our practices, our problems, our difficulties better than our homegrown people?"

Arkansas Mutual has built a base of around 400 policyholders spread around the state. It has eight employees. Some of its major clients include Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic, The Surgical Clinic of Central Arkansas in Little Rock, Park Hill Women's Clinic of Johnson and Arkansas Psychiatric Clinic of Little Rock.

In the future, Robinson said, the mutual's goal is to increase its number and voice.

"That way we can get into the political arena," he said. "We can voice what impacts health care in the state of Arkansas."



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