Information Bulletin, May 2012

Contact us at:

E-mail:sparcs@health.state.ny.us
Phone:(518) 473- 8144 or (800) 638-3808


Webinars for Submitting SPARCS Data
Compliance Reports Go World Wide
It's that time again - Annual Reconciliation Process
Change in Health Commerce System (HCS) Accounts
SPARCS Output Data Sets Changing
Using METRIX new dataset: Professional Medical Board Actions

Webinars for Submitting SPARCS Data

Do you have new employees responsible for submitting SPARCS data? Or are you from a new facility or new vendor and don't know about SPARCS and the NYS Department of Health websites? If yes, then it is time for training! SPARCS is offering several short training sessions. Please register your attendance by sending an email to sparcs@health.state.ny.us

Webinar Date Topic Who Should Attend
May 15, 2012
10am - 10:30am
SPARCS Security and
the Upload Process
Beginners to SPARCS System
May 22, 2012
10am - 10:30am
SPARCS Edit Reports
and Correcting Errors
People needing help or a
refresher on the edit process
May 29, 2012
10am - 10:30am
How to improve your data
compliance with report tools
People who have received a
letter from SPARCS

Compliance Reports Go World Wide

SPARCS introduced the popular color Compliance Reports in 2009 on the secure Health Commerce System (HCS). With the need to improve reporting and access to information, the Compliance Reports have been posted on the NYS Department of Health's SPARCS worldwide webpages under "Submission Reports". The direct link is:http://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/sparcs/reports/compliance/index.htm. You can select facilities by name (alphabetically) or by facility identifier (numeric, aka "Permanent Facility Identifier" (PFI)). The reports show the actual submitted records, the expected number of records to be submitted (based on the average of the prior year's reporting history), and the percentage of the previous year's average for each appropriate type of data (Inpatient, Ambulatory Surgery and Emergency Department and Outpatient Services) that is to be submitted to SPARCS. The report also displays extensions and exceptions that have been requested and granted for each facility. This report will be posted monthly and used for the annual audit reconciliation process. In the future, the report will not be posted on the HCS and only on the NYS Department's website. Facilities, remember, raise the "red" (value), and you won't see "yellow"!

It's that time again - Annual Reconciliation Process

The first notification for missing 2011 data was emailed April 16, 2012. Unfortunately, more facilities received this first notification than last year's. Despite the SPARCS reminders and monthly compliance reports, the 2011 reconciliation is off to a rocky start. Why do we want to tell you that? Because last year's annual reconciliation process resulted in several facilities receiving a Statement of Deficiency (SOD) for failure to submit the correct amount of SPARCS information. These facilities received civil penalties and paid the associated fine for failure to submit data to SPARCS. For those that are not aware, any citation for a hospital is publically displayed on the Department's website on the Hospital Profile. (http://hospitals.nyhealth.gov/) Each hospital has six "tabs" of information; one of them is for "Surveillance". The "Surveillance" tab will display any citation. So, please e-mail or call the SPARCS Administration Unit for any help on getting into compliance with your SPARCS reporting requirement.

Change in Health Commerce System (HCS) Accounts

For those of you who have an account on the NYS Department of Health's secure intranet website called the Health Commerce System (HCS), you will be pleased to know that there has been a change in the expiration for all HCS accounts. Your account will become expired when your password has been inactive for more than 90 days and less than five months. The change in expiration is now based upon 90 days of inactivity. (Previously it was 60 days). For any account that has expired you will have to logon to the HCS and change your password. If you have any questions, please call the Commerce Accounts Management Unit (CAMU) at *1-866-529-1890 option 1.

Status Definition What you should do
DISABLED Account is locked due to
>5 months of inactivity
The person must call CAMU*
to activate their account.
EXPIRED Password is >90 days
and < 5 months old
The person must logon to the HCS
and change their password.

SPARCS Output Data Sets Changing

Given the changes to both the data types and data elements being collected by the SPARCS input files that started on August 1, 2011, corresponding changes were necessary for the output files. Currently, the entire output system is being re-designed for both the types of data and the data elements. Further information regarding this redesign will be forthcoming shortly in announcements by the Bureau of Biometrics and Health Statistics.

Using METRIX new dataset: Professional Medical Board Actions

Want to improve your credentialing process and check on the status of physicians? You should check out the Maximizing Essential Tools for Research Innovation and eXcellence (METRIX) website at:https://health.data.ny.gov/and the new database they have posted on Professional Medical Board Actions. As part of the Department's vision to increase transparency of government and improve access to data assets through this initiative, the Professional Medical Conduct Board Actions data has been recently posted. It consists of all public actions taken against physicians, physician assistants, specialist assistants, and medical professional corporations pursuant to Section 230 of the New York State Public Health Law and Section 6530 of the New York State Education Law who have been disciplined since 1990, or who are subject to a non-disciplinary Board Order, or upon whom charges of misconduct have been served. By having this database it will make it easier to check more than one physician at a time. The individual physician search web-application will continue to exist at:http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct/