The clinical utility of a molecular test rises proportional to a favorable regulatory risk/benefit assessment, and clinical utility is the driver of payer coverage decisions. Although a great deal has been written about clinical utility, debates still center on its 'definition.' We argue that the definition (an impact on clinical outcomes) is self-evident, and improved communications should focus on sequential steps in building and proving an adequate level of confidence for the diagnostic test's clinical value proposition. We propose a six-part framework to facilitate communications between test developers and health technology evaluators, relevant to both regulatory and payer decisions.
Keywords: clinical utility; combination diagnostics; guidelines; health technology assessment; molecular diagnostics; payers; regulatory approval.