Information Bulletin, May 1999

Countdown To The Millennium
Internet Upload
Web Site News

Countdown To The Millennium

SPARCS currently receives about five percent (5%) of its submissions in the millennium compliant Version 5 format. Our congratulations to those providers that have already completed their migration. We encourage all those providers still submitting in Version 4 to start testing Version 5 at your earliest convenience. After December 31, 1999, SPARCS will no longer accept non-millennium ready submissions.

The SPARCS5 Year 2000 compliant software and documentation is now available to be downloaded from the SPARCS public Web site by accessing the Software/Documentation Download option from the SPARCS Home Page (see URL below). This software is a DOS-based PC application for data entry and error correction, which generates a Version 5 formatted file. SPARCS5 replaces the HCNAPPS application, which creates a Version 4 formatted file. Current users of the HCNAPPS application will be sent replacement diskettes and documentation by the end of May. Listed below are the two major changes in the SPARCS5 application:

  1. Millennium Ready/UDS Version 5 Format

  2. PCMAIL Mailtools Removed

It should be noted that the PCMAIL and HCNAPPS Version 4 software applications distributed by the Department of Health will not be supported after December 31, 1999. The mailing functions for SPARCS submission files are not integrated into the SPARCS5 application as they were with the HCNAPPS application.

Internet Upload

As a replacement to the current PCMAIL, the Department is developing a process to upload files using Internet technologies and protocols. This process being developed will:

  • allow for submission of SPARCS data using standard Internet technology

  • provide data security using established Internet protocols

  • use standard Windows protocols for file control

  • be easier to use

We anticipate beta testing to begin for the Internet Upload process in June 1999. Anyone interested in participating in this beta test should contact the SPARCS Administrative Unit.

Web Site News

Listed below are two enhancements to the SPARCS Web page:

1. SPARCS5 Software and Documentation
See the article above for a more detailed explanation of this software. This is now available to download from our Web site
2. New Audit and Submission History Report
We announced in our March Bulletin that the new Audit and Submission History Reports would be available this spring. They are now posted on our Web site

If you have any questions on the Submission History Report, please refer to the report description

If you would like a more detailed record level breakdown, please send an e-mail request for a Detailed History Report to SPARCS or call the SPARCS Administrative Unit.