Information Bulletin, March 2006

Annual Report Generator on HPN
SPARCS Statewide Training Sessions
Cartridge Submissions Not Accepted After June 30, 2006
Changes in Codes for Selected Data Elements
Data Quality Initiative
Requests for Deniable (Identifying) Data

Annual Report Generator on the HPN

SPARCS staff is pleased to announce the latest addition to the SPARCS Toolbox, the Annual Report Generator. This new query tool is located on the Department's Health Provider Network (HPN); a secure website for health providers and facilities. The Annual Report Generator enables you to create your own query on Inpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Data. The power behind this tool is the frequency of the data (2000-2005) and the speed of the report generation; it is refreshed monthly following each monthly update cycle for all facilities. The database contains over 21 million records (six years of inpatient and outpatient data). Due to the structure of the database, queries can process a magnitude of records and provide results in seconds. The options for designing your own query are below:

      Report Type Area Report On
Age Group Facility Patients
AP Diagnosis Related Group* County Days*
AP Major Diagnosis Category* Health Service Area Length of Stay (Avg)*
Discharge Disposition Commission Catchment Area Total Charges
Ethnicity Statewide Charges/Patient (Avg)
Expected Primary Payor Charges/Day (Avg)*
Federal Diagnosis Related Group*
Federal Major Diagnosis Category*
ICD-9 Diagnosis Code List A
ICD-9 Diagnosis Code List B
Patient County
Service Area
Total Patients

*Not available on Ambulatory Surgery

The Annual Report Generator is available to all HPN users. From the HPN home page select "Data Retrieval" then "SPARCS Data Query System" then "Annual Report Generator". Comments or suggestions on this new query tool may be sent to the SPARCS Administrative Unit at 518-473-8144 or email

SPARCS Statewide Training Sessions

SPARCS staff is providing training to facilities responsible for submitting SPARCS data to the Department. The emphasis in these training sessions is for facilities to develop a "team" approach to submitting SPARCS, i.e., admissions, HIM, IT and quality staff. For the Buffalo and Central NYC sessions, please call SPARCS at (518) 473-8144 or email at For the NYC training, please email Anita Wall at

Date        Location        Time
March 7 GNYHA (NYC) 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
March 8 GNYHA (NYC) 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
May 25 Kenmore Mercy (Buffalo) 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
June 13 University Hospital Upstate (Syracuse) 12:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Cartridge Submissions Not Accepted After June 30, 2006

Due to the time delays in processing data cartridges submitted to the Department and success of the HPN submission process, cartridge submissions to the Department of Health for SPARCS will no longer be allowed. All SPARCS submissions must be completed via the HPN. Data cartridges will NOT be accepted after June 30, 2006.

Changes in Codes for Selected Data Elements

To be consistent with national standards, SPARCS has made the following changes to the Data Elements listed below:

Source of Admission (Data Element 20011)
      CODE "04" CHANGED DEFINITION (Effective 4/1/2006)
      "4" = Transfer From a Hospital (Different Facility*)
Inpatient: The patient was admitted to this facility as a hospital transfer from a different acute care facility where he or she was an inpatient.
Outpatient: The patient was referred to this facility for outpatient or referenced diagnostic services by (a physician of) a different acute care facility.

*For Transfers from Hospital Inpatient in the Same Facility, see Code D.

      CODE "D" ADDED (Effective 4/1/2006)
      "D" = Transfer From Hospital Inpatient in the Same Facility Resulting in a Separate Claim to the Payer
The patient was admitted to this facility as a transfer from hospital inpatient within this facility resulting in a separate claim to the payer.

Discharge Hour (Data Element 20022)
      CODE "99" DISCONTINUED (Effective 10/16/2003)
      "99" = Unknown

New York State Patient Status or Disposition (Data Element 25009)
      CODE "08" DISCONTINUED (Effective 10/1/2005)
      "08" = Discharged/transferred to home under care of a Home IV provider. INPATIENT ONLY

      CODE "66" ADDED (Effective 1/1/2006)
      "66" = Discharged/transferred to a Critical Access Hospital (CAH).

Data Quality Initiative

During 2006, SPARCS will start a data quality initiative. Our first focus will be on specific data elements: "Other Diagnosis Present on Admission" (a.k.a."Other Diagnosis Emergent Indicator"), "Race" and "Ethnicity". Facilities that may be reporting these data elements incorrectly will be contacted and asked for a plan of correction.

Requests for Deniable (Identifying) Data

The Data Protection Review Board (DPRB) approves the release of SPARCS deniable (identifying) data elements for inpatient, ambulatory surgery and emergency department data through an application process. All requests for deniable data must be made by submitting an Identifying Data Request Form (DOH-4385), available for download at All applicants must be available in person or by phone to answer Board question regarding their application.

Below is the DPRB schedule for 2006:

      Application Due Date Meeting Date
February 8, 2006 April 5, 2006 (cancelled)
July 10, 2006 September 6, 2006
October 9, 2006 December 6, 2006