CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's Medicaid agency is paying an institute at Clemson University $50,000 to monitor Facebook, Twitter, bloggers and other social media.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports ( ) that state Department of Health and Human Services is using the information to help with customer service.

The Social Analytics Institute at Clemson uses a sophisticated search each day for terms related to the state Medicaid program and the new federal health care law. Those searches are made into a report given to agency officials on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Medicaid officials say the information helps them find people who are having trouble with their health coverage and lets them know what people are thinking about Medicaid.

The agency is deciding whether to sign another yearlong contract.

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