Information Bulletin, March 2002


Proposed Emergency Department Data Collection System
HIPAA Compatibility Issues
New York State Uniform Billing Committee Meeting
SPARCS Updates

Proposed Emergency Department Data Collection System

In cooperation with the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) and the Healthcare Association of New York (HANYS) there will be meetings around the state to discuss the proposed Emergency Department Data Collection System, which has been mandated through legislation passed by Governor Pataki last September. The proposed data specifications and justification documents are posted on the SPARCS public web site. The URL is http://www.health.state.ny.us/statistics/sparcs/eddoc.htm. Listed below are the dates and locations for these meetings. Please contact the SPARCS administrative staff for meeting specifics.

March 26 - NEW YORK CITY

April 2 - BUFFALO

April 4 - ALBANY

April 16 - NEWBURGH

May 1 - LONG ISLAND (Changed from May 3)

May 20 - ROCHESTER

May 30 - SYRACUSE

In preparation for these meetings an internal Department committee of a wide cross section of potential users of this data developed the data specifications and element justifications. The proposed data specifications are an attempt to balance the Department's data needs with hospital information system capabilities. The data specifications are HIPAA compatible. In a spirit of cooperation, some facilities have already submitted test emergency department data. For these tests a third-party payer claim submission was sent to SPARCS. It is important to note that these test submissions almost completely satisfied the proposed SPARCS Emergency Department Data Collection System requirements. The Department looks forward to listening to industry comment on this proposal.

HIPAA Compatibility

The SPARCS staff would like to thank all those facilities that responded to the HIPAA survey sent out last month. As a result, the SPARCS system will continue with planned support for 837-formatted submissions prior to October 16, 2002. SPARCS will continue to support data submitted in version 5 or version 6 for the foreseeable future. We anticipate testing 837-formatted submissions beginning later this summer. The supporting documentation for HIPAA compatible submissions to SPARCS is available on the SPARCS public web site.

New York State Uniform Billing Committee Meeting

The Universal Data Set for Institutional Providers (UDS/IP) task force was convened 10 years ago. The initial purpose of the UDS/IP task force was to provide a forum for payer, providers, vendors, and the state to discuss the data issues associated with the New York State migration from the proprietary UBF-1 billing format to the national UB-92 format. After that migration was successfully completed, the focus of the UDS/IP task force switched to the educational and data components of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). With payers and providers concentrating on HIPAA implementation strategies, it is time to consider next steps for the UDS/IP task force. The HIPAA legislation provides for yearly changes to the standards. The National Uniform Billing Committee (NUBC) has been designated as a data content committee. The HIPAA legislation mandates national solutions for state data needs. In order to continue to have New York State data needs satisfied, the UDS/IP is being reorganized to become the New York State Uniform Billing Committee (SUBC). The purpose of these meetings will be to disseminate decisions made by the NUBC and to develop state data content issues for national dialog. The first SUBC meeting will be sponsored by the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) and is scheduled for April 9th at GNYHA offices from 1:00 - 3:30.

SPARCS Updates

The version 5.10 SPARCS5 application, which can be downloaded from the SPARCS public web site, has been updated to support Patient Status codes 62 and 63.

The SPARCS staff would like to thank the many users who help us constantly improve the SPARCS system. Several of our users notified us about a problem with Table 15 of our 2000 Annual Report. That error has been corrected. As always we appreciate comments and suggestions for improvements to our public web site.