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CMS Prepares to Collect Exchange Construction Progress Reports

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is assembling more of the regulatory machinery it needs to implement the exchange planning provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).

CMS, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), discusses efforts to collect state exchange progress reports in a routine information collection notice set to appear in the Federal Register Friday.

Comments on the information collection activity will be due 60 days after the official Federal Register publication date.

PPACA Section 1311 calls for HHS to work with the states to set up state-supervised health insurance distribution exchanges. Individuals and small groups are supposed to be able to use the exchanges — Web-based insurance supermarkets — to buy standardized health insurance packages with new federal income tax credits.

The District of Columbia and all states except Alaska applied for the initial exchange planning grant, and the District of Columbia and all states except Alaska will be eligible to apply for exchange establishment grants, officials say.

The information collection review notice is for the annual exchange establishment reports that CMS and HHS expect to get from the grant recipients.

CMS needs to collect the reports “in order to provide appropriate and timely guidance and technical assistance,” officials say.

HHS expects to open the next funding opportunity June 15. The earliest application submission deadline will be Aug. 1.

Officials expect state governments to spend more than 49,000 hours preparing the progress reports.


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