“Advances in Cancer Care” – Moonshot or Apollo 13

Joseph M. Nicholson III, DO is the Senior Vice President and National Medical Director of Employer and Payor Relations for Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA). Dr. Nicholson earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He then earned a medical degree from the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa.

During college and prior to medical school, Dr. Nicholson was commissioned as a United States Army officer. A decorated officer, he served as detachment commander for the 203rd Combat Engineers, with time spent in Honduras and Panama. Dr. Nicholson completed his internship at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center and was Chief of Emergency Medicine at Fort Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital. Upon leaving the military, Dr. Nicholson completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa.

In 2002, Dr. Nicholson left private practice to join Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK), as the Medical Director of Medical Services overseeing utilization management, case management, appeals and the fraud unit. He also served as the Fiscal Intermediary Medical Director for Chisholm, which was at that time the Medicare Plan (Part A) for Oklahoma. In 2007, he was promoted to the position of BCBSOK Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Health Care Management. He has served on a number of boards to include a gubernatorial appointment to the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust, Leadership Oklahoma and the Greater Tulsa Metropolitan Board of Directors.   

Dr. Nicholson has practiced medicine in corporate and private practice for more than 20 years and joined CTCA in 2010. He is directly involved in contract negotiations with large national health insurance providers, regional health insurance providers and direct-to-employer contracting. He piloted the creation of a payor-employer relations management role for CTCA and also leads the contracting efforts for CTCA in the international arena. He is an author and national speaker on health care management, advancements in oncology and technology. He and his wife, Jenna, have two adult children.