Data Access - Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS)


Do you have questions about how to apply for SPARCS data? Do you have questions about an existing application? The governance staff will hold an open question and answer (Q&A) hour every other Wednesday from 2 pm to 3 pm. The Q&A Hour will provide applicants with direct access to SPARCS governance staff that can answer your questions. For more details and the complete 2024 schedule, click here.

SPARCS Data Access

SPARCS offers three levels of data access: public, limited, and identifiable. Public use data is openly available. Limited or identifiable data requires the submission of an application.

NYS Department of Health employees who wish to receive data access have a separate process. NYS DOH employees should visit the internal SPARCS SharePoint page for more details.

Public Use Data

Public use data contains de-identified data consisting of basic record-level detail. This data does not contain protected health information (PHI) under HIPAA.

Public use data can be obtained through the Health Data NY website, which provides access to de-identified data consisting of basic record-level detail.

Limited and Identifiable Data

Limited data contains indirect identifiers that are deemed identifiable according to HIPAA standards. Limited data requests are reviewed by SPARCS Operations staff.

Identifiable data pertains to a particular individual's facility stay which, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, as stipulated in Department regulations, Title 10, NYCRR 400.18. Identifiable requests are reviewed by the data review group.

To apply for limited and identifiable data, download and complete the SPARCS Limited and Identifiable Data Request Form (DOH-5132) from the forms page. Form DOH-5132 replaces previous forms DOH-4385 and DOH-4395.

Inpatient data is $700 per year and outpatient is $1500 per year. Identifiable elements, if approved, carry different costs based on the element group. You can consult the SPARCS Data Dictionary for the categories of identifiable data elements and the data elements within those categories to give you a sense of cost. All Article 28 facilities that submit SPARCS data, federal and NY State agencies, and SUNY/CUNY colleges are exempt. Nonprofits receive a 50% discount, and if a student is using the data for a course or curriculum, students may receive an additional 25% discount. To receive this additional student discount, the professor must complete the application for the student.

Data Governance Committee

The Data Governance Committee (DGC) is responsible for reviewing identifiable data requests. For further information:

Data File Transfer System

The SPARCS program uses IBM's Aspera to transmit approved SPARCS extract. For more information on how to download the Aspera plugin:

Data Use Resources

Data Release Notes

Output Data Dictionaries

SAS Read-in Programs

The following are SAS read-in programs for each of the 14 SPARCS tables in the new data layout. The following are SAS read-in programs for inpatient and outpatient files.

For data received November 15, 2018 and forward (Updated March 5, 2020):
Claim Table
Condition Code Table
Diagnosis Table
DRG Table
Location Table
NDC Table
Occurrence Table
Occurrence Span Table
Payor Table
Procedure Table
Provider Table
Race Table
Revenue Table
Value Code Table