News bites: Stem cell breakthrough, CER guidance, and more

For the first time, an experimental treatment made from human embryonic stem cells has shown evidence of helping someone, The Washington Post reports.

The comparative effectiveness research body created by President Obama's health law "doesn't single out any specific diseases, treatments or procedures" to study in its draft priorities, Kaiser Health News points out.

The healthcare law's controversial advisory board charged with recommending Medicare rates will have a tough time functioning even if Republicans fail to repeal it, Politico writes.

Hospitals and clinicians that have failed to obtain federal incentives for adopting electronic health records or want to challenge a payment can now look to the Medicare agency for guidance on appeals, Modern Healthcare reports (subscription required).

Sixty-eight provider groups wrote to the bipartisan conference committee urging them to use war savings to pay for a permanent repeal of the flawed Medicare physician payment formula, Inside Health Policy reports (subscription required).

Employees of the privately owned drugmaker Stiefel say owners sought to buy their shares of the company on the cheap shortly before selling it to pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports.