If you’re a basketball fan, you just experienced Selection Sunday for the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
You may actually plan to watch the games or maybe you filled out a bracket to keep yourself entertained while your spouse monopolizes the television. Either way, you might want to ponder how selecting a basketball team relates to picking a health care provider.
First things first: the NCAA event offers a bracket of preselected teams that have made their way to the 63-game tournament. It is estimated that tens of millions of people fill out a tourney bracket every year, with 8.15 million brackets entered in ESPN’s Tourney Challenge in 2013.
But who says brackets can only apply to the NCAA tournament? Many friends create brackets of their own for hobbies or favorite TV shows. They might “guesstimate” the winners of The Bachelor or Dancing with The Stars, for example.
What’s your strategy?
When filling out any type of bracket, the tricky part is predicting who will win based on your personal judgment of the players’ strengths and weaknesses.
So what’s your strategy for picking the teams on your bracket? Do you pick your favorite mascots, colors and cities? Do you go with the odds of whoever is favored by the experts?
If you are like me, you just pick the team with the lowest seed number or look at which team won the most games. But if you are like my husband you take your time to research and evaluate the statistics for each team. You analyze the players, pick apart their records and look for details that might position a team to become the NCAA champion.
Health Care Provider
Now to spin this around, think about how you begin the process of picking a health care provider. Do you start by pinpointing a location? Do you filter locations based on the gender of the doctor, his or her reputation or the desired specialty?
If so, you have just created the first round on your bracket. Another round is born when you start to narrow your list by reading profiles and recommendations. You look at whether each doctor is an accredited provider, if the doctor has office hours when you are available and other factors.
Eventually you thin out your choices and you are left with your personal equivalent of the final four: the doctor or doctors that you are willing to trust with your health.
The Alliance Service Area
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The Alliance Can Help
At The Alliance, we want all of our member organizations to know that their employees have ample choices for health care providers.
Our broad network of providers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa includes:
- 63 hospitals
- 5,100 medical doctors
- 10,365 total professional service providers
- 2,675 medical clinic sites
- 422 chiropractic clinic sites
- 433 mental health clinic sites
- 195 home care agencies
Our provider directory offers information about all the health care providers in our network, including locations, accreditations and more. The directory is updated weekly.
In the NCAA tournament or in other areas of your life, doing your research in advance can help you make better choices.
For example, allowing each of our members to choose among providers gives them the ability to learn more about providers before they need care. That helps them select the right provider to meet their health care needs.
And if you’re still working on a bracket for the NCAA or another area of your life, you can check out the Better Bracket Maker website to make a slam dunk in your competition. Here’s hoping all your picks are winners!
- Find a doctor or another health care provider with The Alliance Provider Directory
- Learn when it’s right to use urgent care, retail clinics or the emergency room.
- Discover Honoring Choices, an initiative of the Wisconsin Medical Society to help people make better choices at the end of life.
In addition to her work at The Alliance, Tierney is an active member on The Business Forum, previously serving on the board and acting as senior chair for the ATHENA committee. Tierney also participates in the Advertising Federation of Madison and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network of Madison.
Tierney earned her bachelor's degree of business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with an emphasis in information systems and a certification on the Project Management Body of Knowledge.
Read blog posts by Tierney.
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