All of the protests against the ICD-10 implementation deadline appears to be paying off.

Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner just told reporters, after speaking at the American Medical Association Advocacy Conference in Washington, that the CMS will “re-examine the time frame” for implementing ICD-10 through a rule-making process. Tavenner did not say when the process will start, but that it would be made public when it does.

“There’s concern that folks cannot get their work done around meaningful use, their work around ICD-10 implementation and be ready for exchanges,” Tavenner said. “So we’re trying to listen to that and be responsive.”

There is cautious optimism in the leaders in the healthcare IT community.

“I am thrilled that folks are listening,” said Dr. Joseph Schneider, chief medical information officer and medical director of clinical information at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. However, he said, “There are other, better ways to do this other than to go to a system that’s 30 years old coming up shortly.”

ICD-10 is actually 22 years old. It was released in 1990 and adopted by the healthcare industry around the globe. But the U.S. has used ICD-9 since a modified version was implemented in 1979.

Dr. James Madara, the AMA’s executive vice president and CEO, recently sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stating “The timing of the ICD-10 transition that is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2013 could not be worse.”