Information Bulletin, February 2009


Reminder of new Source of Payment Typology for 2009
Results of 2008 Vendor Survey
SPARCS Statewide Training Sessions a Success
New Look for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Statement of Deficiencies (SOD) proceeds to enforcement
Audit Process
SPARCS Information

Reminder of New Source of Payment Typology for 2009

In October 2008, letters were sent to all the SPARCS Coordinators announcing the new Source of Payment Typology. In order to make the payer information more reflective of the existing insurance structures and reimbursement programs, we will replace our data elements with a new payment typology developed by the Public Health Data Standards Consortium (PHDSC). This means that the existing data element that was derived by Department of Health in 1983 called "Expected Principal Reimbursement" will be replaced by adding the three new payer data elements to the SPARCS Data System called the "Source of Payment Typology I, II, III, respectively".

These data elements are needed by the Department of Health for rate setting purposes. The SPARCS data system will be able to accept these new data elements on July 1, 2009 and all facilities are expected to completely transition by December 31, 2009. In addition, the new payer typology keeps SPARCS in line with the national billing defined data elements and electronic version of the bill format, the ASC X12-837. The "Source of Payment Typology" data elements are supported in the future version of the ASC X12-837 format.

Results of 2008 Vendor Survey

New York State Article 28 certified health care facilities required to submit discharge data to SPARCS were surveyed requesting the name of the vendor or computer program used to create their SPARCS X12-837 format files. Hospitals and free-standing ambulatory surgery centers (FAS) are required to submit Ambulatory Surgery (AS) discharge data to the Department. In addition, hospitals also report Inpatient (IP) and Emergency Department (ED) data. The survey was completed in July 2008. Response to the survey was 100% of the free-standing ambulatory surgery facilities and 50% of the hospitals.

The results of the survey show that free-standing ambulatory surgery centers use different vendors than hospital-based ambulatory surgery centers. The exceptions are GE Healthcare and DP Software which provide services for all data types. DP Software also provides custom computer programs and is the source of the McKesson Corporation's products. Netsmart Technology provides services to inpatient behavioral health facilities only.

The results are posted under the "Data Collection Resources". Product names are taken directly from the survey, while telephone numbers, contacts, and addresses were obtained from the vendors.

PLEASE NOTE: Only vendors that have submitted data in accordance with SPARCS submission requirements are listed. SPARCS does not certify vendors and does not recommend specific software vendors. The use of this data is for your information only.

SPARCS Statewide Training Sessions a Success

During the fall of 2008, SPARCS staff provided training to over 350 staff from facilities responsible for submitting SPARCS data to the Department. The training sites were: Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, New York City and Long Island. The emphasis in these training sessions was for facilities to develop a "team" approach to submitting SPARCS data, i.e., admissions, HIM, IT and quality staff. There were two training sections: SPARCS 101 and SPARCS 102. The SPARCS 101 was designed for beginners in the submission of health care facility data to SPARCS, while SPARCS 102 was focused on improving the quality of the SPARCS data and the new Performance Metrics section on the Health Commerce System. If you didn't have the opportunity to attend the training, please contact SPARCS to obtain the information (e-mail: sparcs.submissions@health.ny.gov or call 518-473-8144 or 1-800-638-3808).

New Look for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

SPARCS has a new look for Frequently Asked Question (FAQs). Our FAQ web page has been restructured by topics related to submitting, obtaining and using SPARCS data. Current topics include questions on Audit/Enforcement Process (AP), Contacts (C), Coding Issues (CI), Data Elements (DE), Health Commerce Accounts (HCS), Obtaining SPARCS Data (DATA), Reports (RPT), Security (SEC), SPARCS 837-PC Application (PC), Submission Process (SP), Submission Schedule (SS), and Vendor (V). Questions will be posted under each topic and if applicable, linked to appropriate resources. Look at the new page to see if you know all the answers to the questions!

Statement of Deficiencies (SOD) Proceeds to Enforcement

All health care facilities required to report data to SPARCS were expected to submit data in the new X12-837 format by July 31, 2007. All health care facilities that had not submitted data in the new X12-837 format by the end of December were issued a Statement of Deficiency (SOD) by the New York State Department of Health, Division of Primary and Acute Care Services. Eleven health care facilities (hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers) received an SOD between January and March 2008. Of the eleven health care facilities that received an SOD for failure to submit SPARCS data in the X12-837 format, two have been referred for enforcement. All other facilities have successfully submitted data in the X12-837 format.

Audit Process

SPARCS is continuing its effort to receive data from all health care facilities on a timely basis. In 2007 and 2008, letters were mailed to healthcare facilities discussing any deficiencies. After receiving three notifications for failure to submit data, facilities will be issued an SOD for untimely submission of SPARCS data. In addition, SPARCS is introducing quality audits of the data by selecting specific data elements to be improved. SPARCS has developed numerous data quality reports on the Health Commerce System for facilities to review; facilities should make corrections to these selected data elements and resubmit corrected information.

SPARCS Information

We want to assure you that we are committed to helping the data submitters and data users with any SPARCS question. You may contact SPARCS by email: sparcs.submissions@health.ny.gov or phone: 518-473-8144 or a toll free number: 1-800-638-3808.