Information Bulletin, June 2002


Data Submission Issues
HIPAA Compatibility Issues
Emergency Department Data Collection
Year 2003 Updates

Data Submission Issues

According to Department of Health regulations, all SPARCS 2001 discharge data for each facility is due by the end of June. Approximately 95% of the expected 2001 data has already been submitted to SPARCS. Providers should be congratulated for their efforts to date. Facilities with potential reporting shortages are notified of their reporting status by a letter sent monthly. As the end-year due date for 2001 SPARCS data approaches, facilities still identified with potential shortages are being personally contacted. SPARCS encourages any facility with issues associated with their submission status to contact the SPARCS Administrative Staff.

Establishing secure electronic connections with all our providers is a cornerstone of our HIPAA implementation strategy. The HIPAA transaction standards are designed to transmit data electronically. The true administrative savings with HIPAA can only be realized if the health transactions are transmitted electronically.

The Health Provider Network (HPN) is the secured submission vehicle maintained and used by the Department, including SPARCS, for submission of electronic data. Currently, 60% of New York State providers use the HPN to submit required SPARCS data. If you are not already using the HPN to submit data to SPARCS, we encourage you to call your friendly SPARCS Administrative Unit person to get you connected sooner rather than later.

HIPAA Compatibility Issues

Earlier this year, all SPARCS data submission contacts were surveyed on their HIPAA implementation plans. SPARCS remains committed to supporting a HIPAA compatible submission (837 format) option for New York State providers. Since provider and payers have been given an option to delay their HIPAA implementation, SPARCS wanted to know when providers intended to submit 837 formatted transmissions. Several providers responded that they intend to send HIPAA compatible transactions to SPARCS in this calendar year. SPARCS is currently working on the programming to support 837 formatted submissions. General testing of these HIPAA compatible submissions will begin in early September, but any provider wanting to beta test their system should contact the SPARCS Administrative Unit at any time. It should be noted that 837 formatted submissions will only be accepted as an electronic submission using the HPN. It should also be noted that SPARCS will continue to support the existing UB-92 Version 5 and 6 formatted submission indefinitely.

Emergency Department Data Collection

SPARCS has been meeting with interested industry folks around the state about the proposed Emergency Department Data Collection System. Legislation mandates that this data system be in place by September 2003. These meeting have been held in cooperation with the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) and the Healthcare Association of New York (HANYS). The feedback from these visits supports our proposal and the way we are approaching its implementation. The feedback has also indicated that several data element definitions and the associated codes/values have to be reworked to better relate to the emergency department environment. The handouts for these meeting are posted on the SPARCS public web site and include a background document, the data dictionary/specifications and a justification matrix along with a statement of tasks. The first revision of the data dictionary/specifications will be posted on the SPARCS web site later this summer.

Year 2003 Updates

Updates to the SPARCS system for calendar year 2003 have been posted on the SPARCS public web site. The most significant change will be the collection of Emergency Department data as indicated in the article above. Based on the feedback from the industry outreach meetings, it will be necessary to make some changes to the existing Ambulatory Surgery data collection system. Since existing hospital information systems often submit Ambulatory Surgery and Emergency Department data to payers on the same transmission, it will be necessary for SPARCS to have that same capability. To make that possible, the current Ambulatory Surgery specifications will be classed with the proposed Emergency Department data collection system. The effective date for this classment is for all discharges after December 31, 2002.

The Patient Disposition/Status data element is being classed with the UB-92 specifications. This change is also highlighted in the above change document available on the SPARCS public web site.

The documentation posted on the SPARCS public web site includes the mappings to the HIPAA compatible 837 format. Any questions regarding the technical specifications detailing the 837 requirements should contact the SPARCS Administrative Unit.