NarrativeTracker Analysis Reveals Top Buzzwords in Healthcare Narrative

Top Buzzwords:  Rationing, Out-of-control Spending, Price Controls, Non-sustainable, and Mandate Failure

Dallas and Austin, Texas, May 13, 2010 — In what could presage mounting difficulties for the national healthcare reform roll-out, the top buzzwords associated with the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform ‘narrative’ have been found to be Rationing, Out-of-control-spending, Price Controls, Non-sustainable, and Mandate Failure.   In addition, Gaming the System was the key underlying trend that was discovered.   The results of the Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™) were reported earlier today by The Global Language Monitor, the media analytics company, and OpenConnect, an innovator in defining and improving process efficiency.

The NTI focused on the unfolding narrative about the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform Law since it is frequently cited as a model for the national legislation.  The analysis was performed to better understand and help clarify the national healthcare reform discourse.

“There is a very good possibility that what we are learning from the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform can be applied directly to the national healthcare reform act,” said Edward ML Peters, CEO of OpenConnect, “And what we are seeing there is a perfect storm of ‘rationing’, out-of-control ‘spending’, ‘price controls’ and ‘unsustainability’ — that have now moved to the forefront of the Massachusetts discussion.”

The top concerns from the on-going narrative concerning Massachusetts Healthcare Reform Law in the immediate aftermath of “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” being signed into law include:

1.  Rationing – Along with related keywords (allocation, etc.) was a strong No.1

2.  Spending Increase – References involving increased spending up 400% for the year

3.  Price Controls — A growing concern; up 1400% for the year

4.  Non-sustainable – Scored 40% higher than ‘sustainable’

5.  Mandate Failure – Experiencing a sustained rise

The NarrativeTracker also found these key underlying trends (nTracker Arc) that are foundational to the main narrative.

1.     The question of quality is supplanted by the issue of ‘fairness’ with fairness being driven by the ‘gaming the system’ arc.

2.     Gaming has come to the fore with stories of individuals abusing (or outsmarting) the system by signing up for healthcare only when a medical procedure is looming.   (In this scenario, the average cost of a month of coverage is $600 while the procedures average about $10,000.)

3.  The mentions of ‘failure’ with the keyword ‘reform’ have been rising steeply, some 240% in the last 60 days.

The analysis was completed in early May 2010.

The NarrativeTracker Index is the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform.  Because the Healthcare NTI is based on the national discourse, it provides a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time.  In addition to the NTI, the nTracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the opinions surrounding a single issue.

The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet.   The rise of the narrative actually renders positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative.

The NTI is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™).  The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases.  The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.

The Healthcare NTI will be released on a monthly basis beginning Thursday, May 13, 2010.  The first analysis details the various narratives surrounding Massachusetts Healthcare reform, a healthcare model which has been adopted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as the national healthcare reform bill.

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