Proassurance_Group_PictureStancil Starnes, Chairman and CEO of ProAssurance Corporation, told students on October 25, 2011 in the combined undergraduate capstone and MBA class “Strategic Management: Conversations with CEOs” that the “world of healthcare is going to change.”

Among the changes predicted by Starnes are more physicians becoming hospital employees and more delivery of healthcare services away from traditional settings such as hospitals.

ProAssurance is a Birmingham-based company that is the only publicly-traded professional liability insurance company in the United States. Starnes told students that the company was created in the mid-1970s by Alabama physicians facing a withdrawal of professional liability insurers from the state, with just $8 million in capital.

Today, not only is the company publicly-traded and operating across the country, but also has $2 billion in surplus available to pay claims. ProAssurance insures not only physicians but also dentists, podiatrists, lawyers and other professionals.

Starnes noted that ProAssurance strives to differentiate its strategy from its competitors by maintaining very strong financial reserves. The company also differentiates itself by refusing to settle claims where the professional’s level of care did not fall below the usual standard of care in a particular situation.

A group of students presented their own analysis of ProAssurance’s strategy to Mr. Starnes following his remarks.

“Strategic Management: Conversations with CEOs” is taught by Professors Eddie Friend and Stephen Yoder, and features visits from CEOs of public or other large complex organizations who discuss their organizations’ strategies and how they are developed and implemented.

[Pictured left to right: Mr. Starnes, Nicole Holloway, Sotorya McCray, Rusty Ashworth, Will Bates]