The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold hearings on March 19, 20 and 21 on possible Food and Drug Administration regulation of medical mobile apps that could be considered medical devices.

In particular, the committee wants to know “how federal regulations could threaten patient safety and innovation and increase costs for consumers,” according to a notice from the committee. Leaders of the committee recently sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., seeking clarification of the agency’s evolving policy. The committee is concerned that regulation of some medical mobile apps means they could fall under the health care reform law’s excise taxes on medical devices.

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