The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will develop the Health Insurance Assistance Database, a new system of records, as part of a program to oversee states' development and operation of health insurance exchanges.

Authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the exchanges will be web portals enabling consumers and small businesses to compare and purchase coverage.

CMS will enforce federal standards and PPACA provisions for the exchanges and will set up exchanges in states that do not build their own. The CMS Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight will build the database, which will be the primary tool to track information for oversight purposes, according to a notice published April 15 in the Federal Register.

The database will collect information on consumer inquiries and complaints regarding the exchanges, with CMS having enforcement authority over non-federal governmental health plans and being able to investigate whether states are enforcing provisions of PPACA and the Public Health Service Act.

— Goedert is the news editor of Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.

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