Information Bulletin, April 1997


SPARCS Public WEB Site
SPARCS Changes
SPARCS 1996 Data Submissions
Email Preparation (EPS) Software

SPARCS Public WEB Site

We are pleased to announce that our new public WEB site is now available on the Internet. You can browse our site by taking the following route.

Go to Department of Health Site:   www.health.state.ny.us

Click on:   Statistics & Data

Click on:   Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS)

For starters, find out who we are, what we require, and get a feel for what the SPARCS system can do for you. Now that the baby is born, please take an active role to help us nurture our offspring into a mature and useful WEB site. Please send your comments to: sparcs.submissions@health.ny.gov

SPARCS Changes

As a result of decisions made at the spring Universal Data Set for Institutional Providers (UDS/IP) Task Force meeting and ongoing feedback we received from the provider community, the following changes to the SPARCS system have been made effective immediately.

The After Anesthesia Indicators (Data Elements 79025 thru 79038) are no longer required.

The edit range of Physician License Numbers for doctors with a three-year limited license which allows doctors to practice in underdeveloped areas of the state has been extended to include numbers from 00000001 to 00000700. This change will be documented in Appendix J of the SPARCS Documentation.

A new code has been added to the Exempt Unit Indicator field (Data Element 79042) to accommodate discharges under the New York Health Care Reform Act (NYHCRA) that are Non-DRG Billable. The new code is "NDB". The multiple relationship edit between the DRG Billed and Exempt Unit Indicator fields remains unchanged.

The mailing address for sending tapes, diskettes, or other forms of communications to SPARCS has been corrected to ensure proper delivery. Listed below are the corrected addresses:
Regular (United States Postal Service) mail to Production Control:
Network Systems Operations
New York State Department of Health
Production Control
Albany, NY 12237-0024
Express Mail to Production Control:
Network Systems Operations
New York State Department of Health
733 Broadway, Room B-7
Albany, NY 12207
Regular (United States Postal Service) mail to SPARCS:
SPARCS Administrative Unit
New York State Department of Health
Albany, NY 12237-0023
Express Mail to SPARCS:
SPARCS Administrative Unit
New York State Department of Health
733 Broadway, Room 215
Albany, NY 12207
SPARCS 1996 Data Submissions

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, 1997, or 180 days from the end of the fiscal year. To date over 2.2 million inpatient and over 900,000 ambulatory surgery claims have been posted to the 1996 master files. Data submitters still experiencing difficulties meeting submission deadlines are urged to contact SPARCS to discuss their individual situation and arrange a mutually agreeable submission schedule. Over the next few months SPARCS Administrative staff will be contacting those facilities with probable submission problems. Facilities are to be congratulated for their ongoing efforts to submit accurate and timely data to SPARCS.

Email Preparation (EPS) Software

If you are currently sending data via tape or diskettes, our windows-based Email Preparation Software (EPS) will enable you to e-mail pre-edited submission files directly from your personal computer to SPARCS in a more expeditious manner. Your data submissions as well as the subsequent edit reports and error records can be only a few clicks away using EPS. If you would like to explore this electronic data submission alternative, please contact the SPARCS Administrative Unit.