Information Bulletin, July 2003


Emergency Department Data Collection
SPARCS Edit Issues

Emergency Department Data Collection

SPARCS would like to take this opportunity to announce that we are now accepting emergency department data submissions for production processing. Submission of emergency department data between now and September 4, 2003 would be on a voluntary basis. Please note that hospitals will be allowed to submit emergency department data from the first of the year if they choose. After September 4, 2003 submission of emergency department data is legislatively mandated.

SPARCS appreciates the cooperation and participation of the hospital industry in the design, development, and testing of this new SPARCS requirement. Hospitals that have already completed their testing have requested our production system be activated as soon as possible. Our conversations with those hospitals cite several advantages for allowing the collection of "live" emergency department data now. Those include avoiding conflicts with implementation of HIPAA transactions and codes final rule prior to October 17, 2003 with the New York State emergency department requirements. Also mentioned was eliminating the need to unnecessarily separate for submission to SPARCS ambulatory surgery and emergency department visits prior to September 4, 2003.

It is important to note that the SPARCS system will continue providing support and guidance to those facilities that are just beginning the testing cycle. We are certainly encouraged by the success of the many facilities that have already completed their testing and are requesting the start of the "live" system now rather than later. We hope that those successes provide further motivation for those that are just beginning to address this state mandate.

For departmental purposes please note that outpatient data includes emergency department and ambulatory surgery visits. This outpatient data submitted to SPARCS will be edited on the type of outpatient service being reported. The presence of a 045x revenue code will trigger our emergency department edit and all other revenue codes will invoke our current ambulatory surgery edits. We want to reiterate that all outpatient data may be submitted to SPARCS on the same file.

SPARCS Edit Issues

To better facilitate the use of the Unique Personal Identifier, the SPARCS edit on that data element will be modified to accept only UPPERCASE alphabetic characters. The vast majority of discharges to SPARCS already conform to this edit. This change will take effect on August 1, 2003.

Currently, there is an edit on all outpatient submissions that requires an operating room time to be reported when an ICD-9-CM Principal procedure code is reported. Effective immediately, this edit has been changed to only require reporting of an operating room time when the record has been edited as an ambulatory surgery visit, which means no 045x revenue code has been reported.