Information Bulletin, February 1998


Data Submissions
1996 SPARCS Annual Report
1998 Requirements and Why
UDS/IP Task Force Meeting
Department Initiative Update
Internet News

Data Submissions

Our 1997 submissions are on schedule to be completed by the end of June 1998, the deadline set by Department of Health regulations. Facilities are to be commended for the conscientious and diligent efforts to submit timely and accurate data to SPARCS. Reminder letters are sent to facilities that may be experiencing a shortfall in their data submissions. Facilities can track and monitor their submissions by going to the SPARCS Web site under Audit Reports.

1996 SPARCS Annual Report

We are pleased to announce that the 1996 SPARCS Annual Report is now at the printers and a copy will soon be distributed to administrators at each hospital across the state. We are hopeful that with continued cooperation during this calendar year, the 1997 Annual Report Series (ARS) will be even more timely.

For users of the SPARCS Annual Report it is important to note two enhancements starting with the 1996 tables that will be carried into the future. To facilitate accurate interpretation of the information presented in the ARS tables, a list of facilities with verified data shortfalls is now included in the narrative section. Also new to the narrative section is a reference table detailing which data elements were used in the generation of each statistical table. As we work together to improve the timeliness and quality of the SPARCS system, we are open for suggestions on ways to continue making discharge data more useful and relevant to the complex decisions necessary in todays health care delivery system.

1998 Requirements and Why

The inpatient and outpatient changes for 1998 were made in anticipation of the national data standards to be mandated in the Administrative Simplification sections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by the Department of Health and Human Services. Final determination of the HIPAA standards has not yet been published, but users of SPARCS data agreed that the state-specific elements being eliminated could not be justified for inclusion in a national standard.

Submitters of SPARCS data are reminded of changes implemented for all submissions effective 1/1/98.

For inpatient submissions the following data elements are no longer required: Prehospital Care Report Number, DRG Number Billed, Total Acute Certified Days, and Do Not Resuscitate Indicator.

For outpatient submissions the discharge date, which was reported using a state-specific data element, now MUST be reported in the Statement-Covers-Thru Date field, which is the billing standard as specified in the UB-92 Specifications Manual maintained by the American Hospital Association.
UDS/IP Task Force Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Universal Data Set for Institutional Providers (UDS/IP) task force meeting is Thursday, April 2, 1998. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss the potential impact of the HIPAA legislation on data collection in New York State. Anyone who would like to partake in this discussion or receive past or future minutes should contact the SPARCS Administrative Unit.

Department Initiative Update

As announced last fall, the collaborative effort with the Congenital Malformation and Alzheimer Disease Registries to provide an optional submission vehicle for Department requirements using the UDS format has proceeded as planned. Any facility wanting to take advantage of this new method to satisfy DOH requirements should contact SPARCS at your earliest convenience to arrange a testing schedule. The additional registry requirements for Congenital Malformation and Alzheimer Disease are published in Appendix S and Appendix T, respectively, in the SPARCS Documentation, which is currently available on the SPARCS public WEB site or available upon request from SPARCS.

Internet News

All 1998 changes to our documentation and updates to the SPARCS PC-based software are available first on our public WEB site (www.health.state.ny.us -- click Info for Providers -- click SPARCS). Changes to the SPARCS Documentation and updates to the HCNAPPS software (Version 4.14) to reflect 1998 SPARCS requirements are now available on our WEB site. Anyone not having Internet access may request hard copy and/or diskette copies of the SPARCS Documentation or a Version 4.14 HCNAPPS installation diskette by contacting the SPARCS Administrative Unit.

We encourage use of our public WEB site to obtain current information about the SPARCS system. Internet technology is ideal for maintaining and distributing current information about SPARCS in a timely, accurate, and economical fashion. Be part of a growing phenomenon: get connected and see SPARCS fly.