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3 SPARCS data submission deadlines to know before 2024

SPARCS data submission

Tackling Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System data is a large lift for New York state Article 28 hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. This can be even more challenging when the state updates or adds SPARCS requirements and adjusts timeframes.

In this blog, we’ll outline three SPARCS submission deadlines you need to know. Plus, we’ll cover how the Department of Health addresses statements of deficiency and what it could mean if your facility receives one.

2023 SPARCS data submission compliance deadlines

As New York hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers know well, DOH requires SPARCS data submission for its comprehensive all-payer data reporting system. Facilities must submit 100% of required clinical, billing, admission, discharge and transfer data with 100% accuracy, on a quarterly basis and by a set date.

1. Quarter 1 2023 data

Facilities that haven’t submitted their first quarter 2023 SPARCS data began receiving statements of deficiency last month. (See the “What is a statement of deficiency?” section below for details on the DOH compliance notification cycle.) The Q1 data were due by June 30, with DOH sending monthly reminder emails in July, August and September.

2. Quarter 2 2023 data

If hospitals have deficiencies for both Q1 and Q2 2023, their noncompliance alerts are now overlapping. DOH sent the first Q2 2023 monthly reminders in October, with second warnings already arriving or on their way. DOH will follow with third warnings in December and SOD for noncompliance by Jan. 15, 2024.

3. Cause/Place remediation data

In addition to Q2 2023 SODs, January 2024 is also the deadline for the SPARCS injury, cause and place remediation project. Announced in April, the project supports a grant-funded study underway at DOH. It requires New York state hospitals to provide injury, cause and place diagnosis codes that hospitals did not include in their inpatient and emergency department claims from 2016 to 2023.

In response to hospitals’ concerns about workforce and financial burdens, the state extended the submission deadline from Oct. 31, 2023, to Jan. 31, 2024. This also gives the state more time to process the data for the DOH study. DataGen has distilled the state’s submission instructions to three steps.

What is a statement of deficiency?

Most hospitals and ASCs make every attempt to be SPARCS compliant, but the state changes requirements often. When facilities submit late or inaccurate data, DOH:

  • issues three monthly warnings;
  • sends a statement of deficiency if noncompliance continues; and
  • requires a plan of correction for continued deficiency.

DOH issues SPARCS data submission deficiency statements on a quarterly basis and at the end of every calendar year. If facilities remain noncompliant, DOH can impose financial penalties — up to $10,000 per patient type per facility.

While the state is slow to penalize, hospitals and ASCs do face downstream implications. When a facility submits a Certificate of Need application and has SPARCS data submission deficiencies, that process will be delayed. Facility expansion comes at a time of need and speed. It is the wrong time to grapple with a data compliance backlog, as it could put your competitors ahead or change costs.

Even if you’re behind, compliance with 100% accuracy is possible

SPARCS deadlines are unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you have to tackle them alone. Read our resource, How to overcome SPARCS data changes: 3 most common challenges, to find new ways to manage SPARCS data changes. Then, check out DataGen’s UDS solution to learn how you can take formatting, syncing and error sweeping out of the equation.

Ready to add an extra analyst on your team, ensuring 100% submission accuracy no matter how often requirements change? To make compliance easier, contact us today or request a demo.

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