Information Bulletin, January 1996


New Year's Message
Edit Program Changes Effective 1/1/96
All Facilities Need to Register Encryption Keys

New Year's Message

The SPARCS staff hopes everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season and is now ready to enthusiastically start the new year. To date our 1995 submissions are significantly ahead of the pace set for 1994 submissions. We have just under 1.8 million inpatient discharges reported, which is well on the way to the 2.5 million we would expect and received in 1994. For ambulatory surgery visits we have just over 650,000 cases reported out of the 900,000 we received in 1994. Keep up the good work.

As the UDS system enters its second year and systems everywhere are becoming more well established SPARCS will be turning its attention to other aspects of data quality. In the upcoming year facilities can expect to hear more from SPARCS concerning data anomalies that have been identified. Yes it passed our edits, but is it right? That is the question all SPARCS staff are poised to address.

Not forgetting that the quantity of data sent to SPARCS is still an issue, SPARCS staff will be working with hospitals and their vendors in 1996 to get on the national bandwagon to promote electronic data submissions. For 1995 an increasing amount of data was submitted electronically realizing the benefits of more reliable and timely delivery and considerably faster turnaround for associated edit reports and error files. There is still, however, more data submitted magnetically. Our goal this year is to reverse this trend.

Edit Program Changes Effective 1/1/96

As a restatement of policy, SPARCS will give facilities and their vendors one year to fully integrate new data elements into their systems. After that year all submissions for prior years must conform to the SPARCS Documentation specifications. For example, the Unique Personal Identifier was a new element in 1995. During calendar year 1995 submissions for prior years were accepted with or without that element being reported. Now in calendar year 1996 ALL submissions must have the Unique Personal Identifier reported. Below is a complete summary of year-end changes made to our edit program.

The following changes will affect the UDS edit programs effective 1/1/96. Also, the test versions of these programs have been changed effective 12/27/95. Except for the E-code edit on inpatient, the edit changes are for expired transitional edits for new fields added 1/1/95. These new fields were only required for 1995 data for one year, and as of 1/1/96 will be required for all years. The E-code edit is changing in accordance with the notice sent to facilities regarding proper reporting of E-codes for adverse reaction due to correct drug correctly administered. Please be aware that some facilities may experience an increased number of edit failures due to these changes.

  • Inpatient
    Unique Personal Identifier will now be required on claims for all discharge years.

    DRG Number Billed will now be required on non-exempt claims for all discharge years (any claims reporting an exempt unit must not report a DRG Number Billed).

    E-codes in the range E9300 - E9499 must be reported in the Other Diagnosis 1 - 14 fields, and will no longer be allowed in the E-code Cause-of-Injury field.

  • Outpatient
    Admission Date (Record Type 20) will now be required on all claims.

    Discharge Date (Record Type 25) will now be required on all claims.

    Date of Service (Record Type 61) WILL NO longer be required.
All Facilities Need to Register Encryption Keys

Some of these reports are encrypted to protect patient specific information. Again last month, over 60 facilities did not receive their Update Summary Reports. They were returned to SPARCS unopened, because E-mail Reviewers DID NOT HAVE AN ENCRYPTION KEY REGISTERED with the Department of Health. We feel strongly that it is in the best interests of facilities to receive these reports as a way to monitor their SPARCS submissions on an ongoing fashion.

Users of the SPARCS PC software may register an encryption key using the HCNAPPS application. The instructions are described on page 10 of the Guidelines for Use. If you do not use the HCNAPPS application, you may register an encryption key following the instructions on page 24 of the PCMAIL Users Guide or by calling 1-800-638-3808 for assistance. Copies of these publications can be obtained by contacting SPARCS.