Information Bulletin, April 1996
Data Quality Issues
The second full year of SPARCS data submitted under the UDS version 4 format has resulted in over 2.2 million inpatient and over 850,000 outpatient claims being posted to the 1995 master files. Most facilities are well on their way toward being in compliance with the SPARCS submission requirement that 100% of their data be submitted by June 30, 1996, or 180 days from the end of the fiscal year. It appears as though the first year's transitional problems have been overcome by nearly all facilities. Data submitters still experiencing difficulties meeting submission deadlines are urged to contact SPARCS to discuss your individual situation and arrange for a mutually agreeable submission schedule.
The single biggest users of SPARCS data are facilities requesting their own data. SPARCS data is yours to use as a valuable resource and is more useful to you if it is complete and accurate.Coding Issues
- Placement of Bed Indicators
As of May 1, 1996, the Placement of Bed Indicator, field 79044 position 109-110 on record type 79, will no longer be required. Facilities may continue to report this element, but it will no longer be edited in the SPARCS production edits, nor will it be stored on the SPARCS files after May 1, 1996.
- Homeless Patients
We want to remind providers of the procedure described in the SPARCS Documentation for coding claims for homeless patients. The recommended codes are as follows:
PATIENT'S RESIDENCE ADDRESS:
SPARCS remains committed to the goal of facilitating uniform reporting of requested data elements.
Version 4.11 of the HCNAPPS application, which enhances and amends version 4.10, is scheduled for distribution by May 1, 1996. This software should be installed immediately since it is consistent with the current production edits. As always it will not overwrite existing data records created in previous versions.Data Quality Issues
During our review of data submitted to date, we identified some possible duplicate records in the older files which could affect both reimbursement rates and research studies. The reason was the format of the Medical Record and Patient Control (Admit) numbers. Prior to 1994, clinical data (DDA) and billing data (UBF) were collected using separate reporting formats. To facilitate matching, leading zeros were suppressed on the medical record and admit numbers. Since the UDS system combines billing and clinical data into one submission, the need to manipulate the leading zeros on these fields has been eliminated. Facilities trying to make corrections to pre-1994 data could be affected by this previous practice, because if the medical record or Patient Control Number is submitted in a format on a correction record different from the data stored on the matched file, the old record may not be replaced.
For corrections to 1994 and later data submissions, we are advising all
facilities to code Patient Control and Medical Record Numbers as described
in the SPARCS Documentation. A Medical Record Number coded as "444N3" is
different from "00444N3". These key fields are now stored by SPARCS
EXACTLY as submitted. Inconsistently coded key fields can lead to poorly
maintained data on the SPARCS master files. If you need to correct data
for 1993 or earlier years, please do not hesitate to contact SPARCS in
advance for assistance with the proper coding of the key elements.