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Twitter sentiment predicts Affordable Care Act marketplace enrollment.

Wong CA, Sap M, Schwartz A, Town R, Baker T, Ungar L, Merchant RM - J. Med. Internet Res. (2015)

Bottom Line: A 0.10 increase in the sentiment score was associated with an 8.7% increase in enrollment at the state level (95% CI 1.32-16.13; P=.02), a correlation that remained significant when adjusting for state Medicaid expansion (P=.02) or use of a state-based marketplace (P=.03).This correlation indicates Twitter's potential as a real-time monitoring strategy for future marketplace enrollment periods; marketplaces could systematically track Twitter sentiment to more rapidly identify enrollment changes and potentially emerging issues.As a repository of free and accessible consumer-generated opinions, this study reveals a novel role for Twitter in the health policy landscape.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States. charwong@upenn.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Traditional metrics of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health insurance marketplaces in the United States include public opinion polls and marketplace enrollment, which are published with a lag of weeks to months. In this rapidly changing environment, a real-time barometer of public opinion with a mechanism to identify emerging issues would be valuable.

Objective: We sought to evaluate Twitter's role as a real-time barometer of public sentiment on the ACA and to determine if Twitter sentiment (the positivity or negativity of tweets) could be predictive of state-level marketplace enrollment.

Methods: We retrospectively collected 977,303 ACA-related tweets in March 2014 and then tested a correlation of Twitter sentiment with marketplace enrollment by state.

Results: A 0.10 increase in the sentiment score was associated with an 8.7% increase in enrollment at the state level (95% CI 1.32-16.13; P=.02), a correlation that remained significant when adjusting for state Medicaid expansion (P=.02) or use of a state-based marketplace (P=.03).

Conclusions: This correlation indicates Twitter's potential as a real-time monitoring strategy for future marketplace enrollment periods; marketplaces could systematically track Twitter sentiment to more rapidly identify enrollment changes and potentially emerging issues. As a repository of free and accessible consumer-generated opinions, this study reveals a novel role for Twitter in the health policy landscape.

Show MeSH
Correlation between Twitter sentiment and health insurance marketplace enrollment by state, March 2014. Abbreviations indicate US state. Vermont excluded due to outlier marketplace enrollment.
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figure2: Correlation between Twitter sentiment and health insurance marketplace enrollment by state, March 2014. Abbreviations indicate US state. Vermont excluded due to outlier marketplace enrollment.

Mentions: A 0.10 increase in sentiment score was associated with an 8.7% increase in enrollment at the state level (95% CI 1.32-16.13; P=.02) (Figure 2). The correlation remained significant when adjusting for state Medicaid expansion (P=.02) or whether states had a state-based or federally facilitated marketplace (P=.03).


Twitter sentiment predicts Affordable Care Act marketplace enrollment.

Wong CA, Sap M, Schwartz A, Town R, Baker T, Ungar L, Merchant RM - J. Med. Internet Res. (2015)

Correlation between Twitter sentiment and health insurance marketplace enrollment by state, March 2014. Abbreviations indicate US state. Vermont excluded due to outlier marketplace enrollment.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4376155&req=5

figure2: Correlation between Twitter sentiment and health insurance marketplace enrollment by state, March 2014. Abbreviations indicate US state. Vermont excluded due to outlier marketplace enrollment.
Mentions: A 0.10 increase in sentiment score was associated with an 8.7% increase in enrollment at the state level (95% CI 1.32-16.13; P=.02) (Figure 2). The correlation remained significant when adjusting for state Medicaid expansion (P=.02) or whether states had a state-based or federally facilitated marketplace (P=.03).

Bottom Line: A 0.10 increase in the sentiment score was associated with an 8.7% increase in enrollment at the state level (95% CI 1.32-16.13; P=.02), a correlation that remained significant when adjusting for state Medicaid expansion (P=.02) or use of a state-based marketplace (P=.03).This correlation indicates Twitter's potential as a real-time monitoring strategy for future marketplace enrollment periods; marketplaces could systematically track Twitter sentiment to more rapidly identify enrollment changes and potentially emerging issues.As a repository of free and accessible consumer-generated opinions, this study reveals a novel role for Twitter in the health policy landscape.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States. charwong@upenn.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Traditional metrics of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health insurance marketplaces in the United States include public opinion polls and marketplace enrollment, which are published with a lag of weeks to months. In this rapidly changing environment, a real-time barometer of public opinion with a mechanism to identify emerging issues would be valuable.

Objective: We sought to evaluate Twitter's role as a real-time barometer of public sentiment on the ACA and to determine if Twitter sentiment (the positivity or negativity of tweets) could be predictive of state-level marketplace enrollment.

Methods: We retrospectively collected 977,303 ACA-related tweets in March 2014 and then tested a correlation of Twitter sentiment with marketplace enrollment by state.

Results: A 0.10 increase in the sentiment score was associated with an 8.7% increase in enrollment at the state level (95% CI 1.32-16.13; P=.02), a correlation that remained significant when adjusting for state Medicaid expansion (P=.02) or use of a state-based marketplace (P=.03).

Conclusions: This correlation indicates Twitter's potential as a real-time monitoring strategy for future marketplace enrollment periods; marketplaces could systematically track Twitter sentiment to more rapidly identify enrollment changes and potentially emerging issues. As a repository of free and accessible consumer-generated opinions, this study reveals a novel role for Twitter in the health policy landscape.

Show MeSH