How to run a successful coding competition

To run an effective coding competition, prospective users have to do the upfront work of establishing what they want to produce. It then is up to the coders to decide what they want to do and how to do it.

When it works — and users of the system say it does — the result is quick and innovative development that is less expensive than traditional development programs.

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Write once, use 50 times: How CMS' coder challenge will benefit states

According to the Federal Register announcement of the Medicaid provider screening program, the goals are reducing the processing time for service providers entering the Medicaid system, creating a multitenant provider that is more economical for users, and improving the accuracy of the system.

The requirements for the finished system are:

  • Capability to verify identities of individuals and organizations and to apply screening rules to cross-check elements in the applications.
  • Capability to build provider profiles, create and match to a watch list fraudulent organizations, and capture slight changes in provider information to prevent known bad actors from slipping by with new applications.
  • Capability to capture and score critical attributes of applicants.
  • Ability to evaluate and maintain the integrity of results.
  • Capacity to improve efficiency by enabling searches of applicant information and identification of applicants.
  • Ability to meet the guidelines of the Medicare/Medicaid IT Architecture.
  • Accuracy, cost-effectiveness and timeliness.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


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