December 26, 2006 - 837 Transition and Notification Letter

Dear SPARCS Representative:

Re: 2007 Transition year for SPARCS discharges to be submitted in the ASC X12-837

Previously, SPARCS announced the requirement for all 2007 discharges to be submitted in the ASC X12-837 format, and that the UDS Version 5/6 format would not be accepted after June 30, 2007. SPARCS recently sent an email survey asking if your facility was ready for the conversion to the ASC X12-837 format. We are pleased that most facility responses were positive, and are transitioning to the X12-837 in a timely manner. This indicates that a majority of facilities are ready for submitting SPARCS in the ASC X12-837 format which will bring SPARCS in line with the third party claims processing and the HIPAA authorized version of the transaction set.

However, a number of facilities indicated that more time is needed. In order to facilitate this conversion and assist facilities with the transition, SPARCS will accept 2007 discharges in both the ASC X12-837 format and UDS Version 5/6 format (WHEN REQUESTED) thru December 31, 2007. In essence, facilities that cannot meet the July 1, 2007 deadline for submitting discharges in the X12-837 format will be given an extra six months to complete the conversion upon request.

Facilities that need to submit 2007 discharges in UDS Version 5/6 format beyond July, 2007 MUST either contact us at (518) 473-8144 or send a note to by January 26, 2007 with the following information:

  • SUBJECT Line: Extension requested to transition to X12-837
  • Your Facility Name and PFI
  • Timeframe and/or plan for converting to X12-837
  • Vendor name (if applicable)

Beginning on January 1, 2008 SPARCS will no longer accept Inpatient, Ambulatory Surgery and Emergency Department data submissions in UDS Version 5/6 format. All data submissions after December 31, 2007 MUST be transmitted to SPARCS thru the NYSDOH Health Provider Network (HPN) in the ASC X12-837 electronic format.

SPARCS has created a PC application that may assist your facility with the transition to the X12-837. This new application, called SPARCS-837, is a Windows PC application developed to assist facilities with the creation, editing, translation and submission of their SPARCS inpatient and outpatient data. The application allows data in either UDS Version 5/6 or ASC X12-837 to be imported, edited or new records to be created. The file can then be outputted in the ASC X12N- 837 format ready for submission to SPARCS. The SPARCS-837 application is available for download from the Health Provider Network (HPN) at:

As you know SPARCS crosses many departments within your facility: Health Information Management (HIM) or Medical Records Departments, Patient Accounts, Finance, and IT. If not already in place, it may be beneficial for a SPARCS Team to be created at your facility to address changes and new modifications coming to SPARCS. Since you are the Department of Health's designated SPARCS representative, it is your responsibility to ensure that the appropriate personnel at your facility are aware of the SPARCS changes.

Please inform us if you need to extend the use of the UDS Version 5/6 format for 2007 discharges by January 26, 2007. If we do not hear from your facility by that date, we will assume you are planning to transition to the X12-837 by July. Attached is an X12-837 submission schedule for 2007 discharges; this schedule will be applied to facilities that do not request an extension. Please note that this schedule applies to 2007 discharges and will be used for sending the delinquent letters.

If we may be of any assistance with this transition, please contact us at (518) 473-8144 or


Laura K. Dellehunt
Director, SPARCS Administrative Unit
Bureau of Biometrics and Health Statistics

Discharge Year 2007 Submission Schedule Table

Deadline ALL Types of Data Collection
  • Inpatient Data from Hospitals Section 86-1.3 of Title 10
  • Ambulatory Surgery Data from Outpatient Clinics, Hospital based and Freestanding Section 755.10 of Title 10
  • Emergency Department Data from Hospitals Section 400.18 of Title 10
July 31, 2007 95% of January 2007 discharges
August 31, 2007 95% of February 2007 discharges
September 30, 2007 95% of March 2007 discharges
October 31, 2007 95% of April 2007 discharges
November 30, 2007 95% of May and June 2007 discharges
December 31, 2007 95% of July and August 2007 discharges
January 31, 2008 95% of September and October 2007 discharges
February 29, 2008 95% of November and December 2007 discharges
March 31, 2008 Corrected data (incomplete, missing, error corrections)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: I am ready to submit in the X12-837 format. Can I submit now and keep on the same submission schedule? (60 days for inpatient, quarterly for ambulatory surgery and monthly for emergency department)?
    A: Yes. SPARCS accepts the X12-837 format for both test and production submissions. You do not have to wait until July to submit in this format.

  2. Q: I intend on meeting the July date, but will not be ready until then. Do I have to notify SPARCS of this since it will appear that my January 2007, etc discharges will not be received until July?
    A: No, you do not have to notify SPARCS. Conversely, with this letter we are asking for facilities to notify SPARCS if they will NOT meet the July deadline and will need to submit in the UDS Version 5/6 format. For those facilities that will not meet the deadline, and need more time, they will have to continue reporting in the UDS format until they can make the transition to the X12-837.

  3. Q: What submission schedule do I follow for 2007 discharges if I have to continue reporting in UDS format?
    A: You should follow the current submission cycle: 60 days for Inpatient data, quarterly for Ambulatory Surgery data monthly of Emergency Department data.

  4. Q: What submission schedule do I use if I am planning on a July 2007 start for the X12-837 format?
    A: Again, you can submit in the X12-837 now. The attached schedule will be used for your submissions if you start in July; this schedule is also used for sending the delinquent letters.

  5. Q: What are the consequences of continuing to use the UDS Version 5/6 format for 2007 discharges?
    A: Your facility is behind in adhering to the Department of Health's requirement that SPARCS data come in the specified electronic format. In an effort to maintain data flow, SPARCS is allowing the use of the UDS Version 5/6 for those facilities that need additional time. The goal of the Department is to have all facilities submit SPARCS data in a HIPAA authorized transaction set.

    In addition, new data elements, either state or national defined, are not reportable in the UDS Version 5/6 format. As you may know, new data elements in SPARCS are adopted thru the National Uniform Bill (UB04) process, mandated HIPAA standards or state defined. In 2007, new data elements are being adopted from:
    • Present on Admission, UB04 defined (SPARCS already collects- in X12-837 small changes to values) effective March, 2007
    • National Provider ID (NPI), HIPAA defined, effective May 23, 2007
    • Blood Pressure (Systolic and Diastolic), and Heart rate, State defined (SPARCS/AMI project, effective July 2007 discharges). The SPARCS/AMI project is the addition of clinical data elements, blood pressure and heart rate, for inpatient and emergency department reporting only. (This will affect a small percentage of inpatient and emergency reporting at your facility depending upon how many Acute Myocardial Infarction procedures are performed.)

    If you are still sending your data in UDS Version 5/6 format, the NPI for all facilities reporting, Blood Pressure and Heart rate (inpatient and emergency department reporting only) are data elements that will not be reported for your facility.

  6. Q: How can I obtain the new PC Application, SPARC-837?
    A: You can download for free from the Health Provider Network (HPN) website at:

    You must have a valid HPN account to get to the website.

  7. Q: Can I import my UDS Version 5/6 data file into the SPARCS-837 application?
    A: Yes. This is what it was designed for, i.e., to assist you with the transition to the X12-837. It will allow you to import the data, and then export the data into an X12-837 format. In essence, the SPARCS-837 application will translate the UDS file into the X12-837 format. The exported files can then be uploaded using the SPARCS Upload Application on the Health Provider Network (HPN).

  8. Q: Can I enter new records using the SPARCS-837 application?
    A: Yes. In addition to importing data files, you may also enter new records from scratch using the data input screens.

  9. Q: Can I modify records in the SPARCS-837 application?
    A: Yes. You can modify the data records that you imported in the UDS format or records that you entered from scratch.

  10. Q: Can I export selected records using the SPARCS-837 application?
    A: Yes. You can modify your criteria for exporting the data file.

  11. Q: Can I export selected records using the SPARCS-837 application?
    A: Yes. You can modify your criteria for exporting the data file.

  12. Q: What are the data elements being collected for the SPARC/AMI project?
    A: A separate, detailed letter will be sent on the SPARCS/AMI project. The letter will announce the implementation of blood pressure and heart rate for July, 2007 discharges.