Meet Our Chief Doctor

March 30, 2023

Every day, doctors and nurses bring their medical experience to work at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. These health care workers are key in providing high-quality care to our members. 

Dr. Nate Henderson became our chief medical officer last year. He joined BlueCross in 2020 but works weekend shifts at a local hospital once a month. He does it because he loves staying connected to the clinical side of his work. 

Dr. Henderson earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Richmond and his doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. He finished a residency in internal medicine at Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center in the Upstate.

We talked with Dr. Henderson about his role at BlueCross and how he serves our members. 

dr nate henderson Hover image

Why did you decide to study medicine? 

My father is a doctor and my mother is a nurse, so I was exposed to the delivery of health care at an early age. I was lucky to be able to observe how clinicians worked and lived, and really how it impacted others. I watched them care for many patients and families and they taught me the importance of putting others before themselves.  

Who inspired you in your career? 

I really had two influences in my parents, for two different reasons. I learned the technical, scientific and evidence-based side from my father. On the nursing side, my mother encouraged a compassionate bedside manner. Watching them definitely inspired my career and how I treated others, whether it be patients or others on my team. 

What does a chief medical officer do? 

The chief medical officer role is very interesting to me. I am exposed to a variety of areas across our lines of business. I ultimately lead our medical director team. I oversee our medical policy team and make sure those policies are up to date, are based on evidence and meet our standards of care. 

I have the privilege of working with providers and large employer groups. I work with employer groups to design their benefit plans through the clinical lens. And I work with our clinical teams to help guide members through complex clinical issues with our care management process.  

What does this mean for our members? 

My role is key   for our members because we are responsible for ensuring members have access to high-quality services at the appropriate places to best serve their healthcare needs. We shape the medical policies, based on evidence-based literature and clinical standards of care that allow our members to access services. 

Why did you decide to work for BlueCross? 

When I worked in the hospital setting, I was drawn to  the administrative side of navigating highly complex issues and using my clinical training to help solve problems. There, I worked with payers, but from the lens of the provider. Through that experience, the opportunity to work at BlueCross made more sense and the transition from the provider side to the payer side made more sense to me.

The business of medicine and its future is interesting to me. Working at BlueCross affords me the ability to view challenges in healthcare from another perspective that is not available to many providers. I was attracted to this job to try to solve problems from another angle. So far this has been either through developing new value-based payment models, helping providers or members through challenges with our systems, and keeping medical policies as up to date as possible with rapidly changing medical technology and treatment modalities. 

Why does BlueCross have doctors on staff? 

The doctors on our medical staff oversee requests for services. Every day, a team of doctors and nurses makes sure our members get the best services that are appropriate for them. Our care management teams help members find their way through the levels of care. They really drive the best quality and value in care for our members with a personal touch

Is there anything you want to add? 

Before coming to work for BlueCross, I think my perception of working for a health insurance company was perhaps not very positive, probably like many of my physician colleagues. But I have truly been impressed with how patient-centric this organization is. Business decisions are driven by how they will affect our members or our employer groups.

At the same time, we are very provider-focused. We want members to know we are working hard for them to be able to go about their day and be able to get the healthcare services they need.

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