States and territories seeking to establish a health insurance exchange, funded under the Affordable Care Act, will be required to submit an application for approval during the fall of 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services has announced.

In a notice available now and being published Nov. 10, HHS estimates the application will take an average of 211 hours to complete. States and territories must demonstrate operational readiness through virtual and on-site reviews.

"Given the innovative nature of exchanges and the statutorily-prescribed relationship between the HHS Secretary and states in their development and operation, it is critical that the Secretary work closely with states to provide necessary guidance and technical assistance to ensure that states can meet the prescribed timelines, federal requirements and goals of the statute," according to the notice.

— Joseph Goedert writes for Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.

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