There may be some truth in such thinking. "There's an adage in the field of open innovation, which is some problems are too big to leave to the experts," Spradlin said. "Very often, if the expert in a particular field could solve a problem, they would have already." So, will there be contenders from outside of healthcare? You bet.
And yet, Code-a-Palooza may continue to put the lie to this stereotype.
"You do need the people who are the subject masters to really come in and say take this data set from CMS and make it do things that really matter to healthcare," Spradlin said.
But as Spradlin reminded me, last year's winners "did not represent your father's healthcare system. They were fearless, unafraid. They had been brought up in the develop arena as well. They saw a need to do some things differently."
But just to set expectations, remember that the recently released CMS data is all about cost, not quality. The full matching set of quality data is locked up still somewhere in CMS, and since I understand the agency operates at least four separate data warehouses, it could be some time before we see a truly complete coding competition.