Information Bulletin, February 2000


Y2K - A Report Card
Internet Upload News
Accommodation Codes
Miscellaneous News

Y2K - A Report Card

From all indications the SPARCS system has successfully leaped into the new millennium. As announced in previous bulletins, the SPARCS system is no longer accepting any submissions in the Version 4 format. It is important that all dates be accurately reported. For those few facilities that continue to linger in the past, please talk to your vendor about migrating to Version 5 as soon as possible. We would appreciate hearing from any facility that is having difficulty submitting data to us in an acceptable format.

Internet Upload News

We are happy to announce that many facilities are now submitting data to us using the Internet Upload process developed here at the Department of Health. The upload process is working very well. There have been reported problems with the process to return error files to be imported and corrected using the SPARCS5 application. In response to some of the reported problems, the SPARCS5 application has recently been modified to improve the IMPORT function of that application. We encourage all users to download and install the most current version of SPARCS5 from our public Web site in our Software/Documentation Download.

We want to thank all those facilities that are currently using the Internet Upload process to submit their SPARCS data. We appreciate the patience you have demonstrated as we sort out the problems associated with implementing new technology. We also want to encourage those facilities not currently using the Internet Upload process to try it. We think you will like it.

Reminder

If you have Internet Upload access, you will automatically receive monthly audit and submission history reports for your facilities.

Accommodation Codes

Hospitals should be reminded that, effective for any discharge in 2000, the reported Accommodation Code should be a UB-92 code. SPARCS Accommodation codes may still be reported for discharges prior to 1/1/2000, but if something is reported in the UB-92 Accommodation Code field that data will be edited. Errors in reported UB-92 Accommodation Codes will generate errors for any discharge regardless of date. The edits contained in the 5.04 Version of the SPARCS5 application support this change. Anyone having questions about this edit should contact the SPARCS Administrative Unit.

For users of SPARCS data, all SPARCS Accommodation Codes for prior years' data have been converted to UB-92 codes as documented in Appendix I. Old SPARCS Accommodation Codes have been retained on the output file for historical reference.

Miscellaneous News

The 1998 SPARCS Annual Report has been mailed to hospital administrators. It is also available from our public Web site in our Annual Reports.

The next Universal Data Set for Institutional Providers (UDS/IP) Task Force meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 at the HANYS offices from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This group continues to provide a statewide forum to discuss common data issues related the collection and reporting of institutional claims data. The anticipated implementation of the Administrative Simplification portions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will be a critical topic of discussion at this upcoming meeting. A detailed agenda will be sent out in early March. If anyone is interested in finding out more about the process, they should contact the SPARCS Administrative staff.

The Inpatient and Outpatient Output Data Dictionaries have been updated with Year 2000 changes and posted on the SPARCS public Web site. These publications are written to assist current and potential users of SPARCS data.