Dr. Nichol's research interests include Health Care Utilization, Health Insurance Design, Health Care Costs, Adherence Analysis, Pharmacoeconomics, Patient-Centered Outcomes, Health Care Management.
Dr. Nichol began his health care career as a health planner with the Oregon State Health Planning and Development Agency. He became planning director, associate director, and then executive director of the Western Oregon Health Systems Agency, between the years of 1978 and 1984. During his tenure as executive director, the Agency developed the first physician-specific fee guide, which was distributed to the general public. In addition, the Agency sponsored multiple public hearings as a part of the Oregon Health Decisions project, which resulted in a set of health priorities for the Oregon Medicaid program.
While directing the Department of Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, Professor Nichol developed the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, which has become one of the premier graduate degrees in the field. He has served on a number of national boards and committees, including the National Commission on Quality Assurance Cardiovascular Work Group, the National Quality Forum’s National Voluntary Consensus Standards for the Reporting of Therapeutic Drug Management Quality Education and Adherence Technical Advisory Panel, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Systems Research Study Section, and a study section for the Patient Centered Outcomes and Research Institute (PCORI). Professor Nichol was President of the USC Faculty during the 2008-2009 academic year.
In addition to his present appointment as Professor of Health Policy, Dr. Nichol directs the Graduate Health Programs at the Price School of Public Policy. This program includes the Master in Health Administration and the Executive Master in Health Administration. In the last two years, both the MHA and the EMHA have been re-designed to create clear outcomes for student performance and career attainment. Dr. Nichol is also Professor of Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy in the School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Nichol maintains an active research program enabled by federal and corporate grants. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts on a variety of health topics. He regularly consults for pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, as well as large physician groups within California.