Information Bulletin, May 2000


Anticipating HIPAA
Additional Internet Upload News
Error Corrections
Data Submission Requirements

Anticipating HIPAA

Since the first Internet Upload submissions in November, there has been incredible cooperation from the provider community. Currently about 60% of all submissions to SPARCS are now sent via the Internet Upload process on the Health Provider Network (HPN), the Department of Health secured server. We are hopeful that over the next few months that submission percentage will be even larger. With the implementation period for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) beginning this June, your migration to an electronic submission vehicle is very significant.

Over the past six years SPARCS has worked diligently to standardize SPARCS reporting requirements to be consistent with provider information systems. This has been done with the cooperation and support of the provider community. The result can be measured in the steady improvements in the quality of SPARCS data. Once HIPAA mandates are implemented part of the SPARCS strategic plan is to stay classed with provider information systems. The Administration Simplification provisions of HIPAA are intended to mandate that the current financial health transactions be transmitted electronically. classing SPARCS data requirements with HIPAA requirements has been the first step in our anticipation of HIPAA requirements. Since the HIPAA transactions are designed for electronic transmission, the second step is to establish electronic connectivity between SPARCS and the provider community. The Internet Upload is the connectivity solution that is being implemented by SPARCS.

The anticipated implementation date of the HIPAA transactions is August of 2002. classment of the data elements and establishing connectivity are significant milestones that are already facilitating the migration of the SPARCS system to HIPAA. SPARCS thanks everyone for their efforts as we take the necessary steps to anticipate HIPAA mandates in a systematic fashion together.

Additional Internet Upload News

As a reminder, the TEST/PRODUCTION Indicator in Record Type 01, positions 143- 146, determines how incoming electronic submissions are processed by the SPARCS system. If the log number assigned to your submission is less than 010000, the submission was processed as a TEST by SPARCS. The incorrect coding or not assigning a code to this field will default the data submission to TEST. If you have any questions about this field, please contact the SPARCS Administrative Staff.

Error Corrections

Generated from each submission to SPARCS is a file containing the errors from that submission in the format the data was submitted. A status report of these errors is available on the SPARCS Web site:   www.health.state.ny.us/statistics/sparcs/audit.htm.

This report is called the Submission History Report and is generated for each submission year. The report is updated monthly. To facilitate error correction, these error files are available electronically via the secured Internet Upload process. To further accommodate provider systems, the SPARCS process has been modified to convert non-millennium compliant error files submitted to SPARCS prior to January 1, 2000 to Version 5, which is the current year 2000 compatible format.

We encourage all providers to use our Web site to closely monitor the submission status for their facility. Those providers needing additional help requesting error files to better maintain their SPARCS data are encouraged to contact the SPARCS Administrative Unit and to obtain an HPN account.

Data Submission Requirements

According to Department of Health regulations, all SPARCS 1999 discharge data for each facility is due by the end of June. Approximately 90% of the expected 1999 data have already been submitted to SPARCS. Providers should be congratulated for their efforts to date. Facilities with potential reporting shortages are appraised of their reporting status by a letter sent monthly. As the end-year due date for 1999 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.