Because of the ICD-10 update that went into effect on October 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not apply the 2017 or 2018 PQRS downward payment adjustments to individual or group practices that fail to satisfactorily report quality data for the 4th quarter of CY 2016 solely because of the impact of the October ICD-10 code update. Many solo practitioners and groups had to meet CY 2016 reporting requirements because it is the performance period for 2018 PQRS and Value Modifier payment adjustments, and may not have time to absorb the large number of new codes that were added or removed from the ICD-10 code set. In these cases, CMS will identify the physicians as “Category 1,” meaning they will not incur the automatic downward adjustment under the Value Modifier program. For more information, go to the CMS website at