A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE

Become a Patient - the first steps

How to Become a Patient: The First Steps
City of Hope provides expert care with superior treatment results to patients at all points in their care from diagnosis to treatment and ongoing survivorship. We accept self-referrals by patients, referrals by a physician or referrals by a patient’s authorized loved ones.
 
Telephone: 800-826-HOPE (4673)
 
  • New Patient Services office hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, Pacific Time.
     
Online or after hours:
 
  • Request a callback online. We will call you within one business day to discuss your appointment.
  • If you prefer to call us after hours, the operator will take a message and we’ll return your call within one business day.
 
Information Needed to Schedule an Appointment:

To be seen as soon as possible, please have the following information available when you call.
 
  • Patient information: Patient’s full legal name, date of birth, address and contact information
  • Provider information: Primary care and/or referring physician’s name, address and contact information
  • Insurance information: Please have your insurance ID card available. City of Hope contracts with most major insurance companies and is skilled at helping families navigate through their coverage situations.
  • Records: Medical records pertaining to the patient’s diagnosis and/or treatment. City of Hope will gladly request them directly from the physician’s office with the patient’s authorization. Please fax completed form to New Patient Services at 626-471-9297.
  • Patient authorization: If not referring yourself, your spouse or a dependent, the patient’s authorization and contact information is required.

Get an Expert Second Opinion
You deserve to know about every option available for your treatment. City of Hope’s multidisciplinary team of cancer experts — including surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and other health professionals — are available to provide second opinion consultations.
 
Call us today at 800-826-HOPE (4673) or request a callback to schedule a consultation. Our team of experts are ready to help you understand the latest advancements in cancer treatment and opportunities to participate in clinical trials of promising new therapies.
 
Why get a second opinion?
 
  • If you want to know whether other treatment options exist.
  • If you have doubts about the planned course of treatment.
  • If your current physician has little experience treating your diagnosis.
  • If you have a rare type of cancer.
  • If your physician said no viable therapy is available.
 
The ideal time to seek a second opinion is prior to beginning therapy. That way, patients can be aware of treatment options and make an informed, educated decision towards his or her care.

Insurance

City of Hope contracts with most major Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) for hospital services. Additionally, City of Hope is a participating provider in government programs such as Medicare, MediCal and Tricare/Champus.
 
Insurance coverage will vary depending upon your insurance company, your plan and the state in which you live. Please speak with a representative from your insurance company to ensure that your treatment is covered. HMO plans will require a written authorization from the primary care physician authorizing care at City of Hope in order to receive coverage for treatment.
 
For more information, visit our medical insurance site.

Additional contact information:
  • City of Hope Financial Support Services: 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 62715
  • City of Hope Managed Care Department: 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 68650
 

Preparing for Your Appointment

The staff at City of Hope is dedicated to providing you and your loved ones with first-class care. To help make the most of your time during your appointment, please take a moment to review the below in preparation for your visit.
 
  • Confirming or rescheduling your appointment: You will be contacted 1-2 business days prior to your appointment with information on where and what time to arrive. To confirm or reschedule an appointment, please call the appointment desk at the City of Hope location where you will be treated. 
  • What to bring and wear: Please bring your current ID and medical insurance cards, a form of payment if your insurance plan requires a co-pay and a written authorization from your provider if you are in a HMO plan. Plan to wear comfortable clothing but bring additional layers as some patient areas may be chilly.
  • Traveling to City of Hope: Get accustomed with getting to the City of Hope location where your appointment is scheduled. If you’re being treated at the Duarte location, our campus map will help you find parking and your destination. Please plan on arriving 20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
  • Inpatient check in: Inpatients will be checking in at the first floor lobby in the Helford Clinical Research Hospital. Please see the attendant at the guest services desk, who will help you with the admission process.
  • Outpatient check in: Check-in areas for most outpatients will be located near the front entrance of each City of Hope location. Some outpatients being seen at the Duarte location may have to check in at a different part of campus (such as the Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women’s Health Center and the Outpatient Surgery Floor in the Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center.)
  • Check out: After your visit, please check out at the appointment desk indicated in your schedule. Your next appointment will be scheduled during your check out.
  • Need help? Patient navigators are available to assist you throughout the process. They may be reached by calling 626-256-HOPE (4673) ext. 32273.

Visitation Guidelines

Note: If you are planning to visit a patient being treated at one of our community practices, please call that location's main phone number to inquire about its visitation guidelines.
 
Family and friends are always welcome and encouraged to visit patients during their stay at City of Hope. For the safety and comfort of our patients, please keep the below visitation guidelines in mind.
 
  • Visiting hours: General visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. “Primary visitors” – typically the patient’s closest family or friends – will receive wristbands allowing for 24-hour visitation.
  • Checking in: All non-primary visitors must check in at the Guest Services Desk before each visit and will be issued a badge for the day. For your protection and the protection of others, all visitors will be screened for infection at the Guest Services Desk.
  • Children: All visitors under the age of 14 must be supervised at all times during their visit. Additionally, during flu season, children under five are not permitted in patient areas.
  • Visiting intensive care unit (ICU) patients: Visitors may stay up to five minutes per hour with a maximum of two visitors at a time in the room. Visits are not permitted during shift changes, which are 7 to 8 a.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. (with the exception of a pediatric patient’s parents or guardians.) Children under the age of twelve are not allowed to visit the ICU. Additionally, cell phones are not allowed in the ICU.
  • Gift restrictions: While we understand the desire to lift a patient’s spirits with gifts, some items are restricted to protect the health and safety of patients and staff.
    • Balloons: Latex or rubber balloons are not permitted due to potential allergic reactions. Additionally, metallic or mylar balloons are not permitted in ICU since they may cause interference with electronic medical equipment in the room.
    • Flowers: Live flowers are not allowed in patient units due to potential allergic reactions. For most non-ICU rooms, silk or plastic floral arrangements that don't contain decorative moss are acceptable. For ICU rooms, no floral arrangements are allowed due to the severity of the patients’ illnesses.
    • Toys: Because of their potential to carry dust and pathogens, used, stuffed or plushy toys are discouraged in the hospital. Visitors are instead encouraged to check with the patient’s care team for games and entertainment that are less likely to cause infections or allergic reactions.
  • Smoking policy: City of Hope is a smoke-free campus, and smoking is prohibited inside buildings and outdoors.
 
Please note that—for the patient's health, safety and well-being—staff may request visitors to leave the patient room and wait in the visitor lounges, located near the elevators on each floor of the hospital.
 
If you have additional questions about visiting patients at City of Hope, please call our Guest Services desk at 626-256-HOPE (4673) ext. 61143.
 

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

As a patient or parent of a minor patient it is important to know the rights you have under federal and California state law. If, at any point in your care, you feel your rights are not being served, you can express your concerns confidentially with one of our patient advocates at 626-256-HOPE (4673) ext. 62285.
 
Access
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Have a family member (or other representative of your choosing) and your own doctor notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
  • Designate visitors of your choosing, if you have decision-making capacity, whether or not the visitor is related by blood or marriage. At a minimum, the hospital shall include any persons living in your household and any support person defined in federal law. The hospital will ensure that visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with your preferences unless:
    • No visitors are allowed.
    • The facility reasonably determines that the presence of a particular visitor would endanger the health or safety of a patient, a member of the health facility staff or other visitor to the health facility, or would significantly disrupt the operations of the facility.
    • You have told the health facility staff that you no longer want a particular person to visit.
      However, a health facility may establish reasonable restrictions upon visitation, including restrictions upon the hours of visitation and number of visitors.
  • Appropriate assessment and management of your pain, information about pain, relief measures and to participate in pain management decisions. You may request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve pain, including opiate medication. The doctor may refuse to prescribe the opiate medication, but if so, must inform you that there are doctors who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic intractable pain.
  • Exercise these rights without regard to sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, educational background, economic status or the source of payment for care.
 
Respect and Dignity
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Receive kind and respectful care, be made comfortable, and have caregivers respect your cultural, psychosocial, spiritual, and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  • Reasonable responses to any reasonable requests made for service.
 
Privacy and Confidentiality
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Have personal privacy respected. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. You have the right to be told the reason for the presence of any individual. You have the right to have visitors leave prior to an examination and when treatment issues are being discussed.
  • Confidential treatment of all communications and records pertaining to your care and stay in the hospital. You will receive a separate “Notice of Privacy Practices” that explains your privacy rights in detail and how we may use and disclose your protected health information.
 
Medical Information and Consent
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Know the name of the doctor who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care and the names and professional relationships of other doctors and caregivers who will see you.
  • Receive information about your health status, diagnosis, prognosis, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care (including unexpected outcomes) in terms you can understand. You have the right to effective communication and to take part in developing and implementing your plan of care. You have the right to participate in ethical questions that arise in the course of your care, including issues of conflict resolution, withholding resuscitative services, and forgoing or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.
  • Make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure as you may need in order to give informed consent or to refuse a course of treatment. Except in emergencies, this information shall include a description of the procedure or treatment, the medically significant risks involved, other courses of treatment or non-treatment and the risks involved in each, and the name of the person who will carry out the procedure or treatment.
  • Be advised if the hospital/personal doctor proposes a clinical study affecting your care or treatment. You have the right to refuse to participate in such research projects.
 
Provisions of Information
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Know which hospital rules and policies apply to your conduct while a patient.
 
Medical Treatment Decisions
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Formulate advance directives. This includes designating a decision maker if you become incapable of understanding a proposed treatment or become unable to communicate your wishes regarding your care. Hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital shall comply with your directives. All patients’ rights apply to the person who has legal responsibility to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
 
Continuity of Care
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Reasonable continuity of care and to know in advance the time and location of appointments as well as the identity of the persons providing the care.
  • Be informed by the doctor, or a delegate of the doctor, of continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital. You have the right to be involved in the development and implementation of your discharge plan. Upon your request, a friend or family member may be provided this information also.
 
Refusal of Treatment
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Request or refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law. However, you do not have the right to demand inappropriate or medically unnecessary treatment or services. You have the right to leave the hospital even against the advice of physicians, to the extent permitted by law.
 
Financial Information
 
You have the right to:
  • Examine and receive an explanation of the hospital’s bill regardless of the source of payment.
 
Personal Safety
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Be free from restraints and seclusion used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff.
  • Receive care in a safe setting, free from mental, physical, sexual or verbal abuse and neglect, exploitation or harassment. You have the right to access protective and advocacy services including notifying government agencies of neglect or abuse.
 
Complaints or Concerns
 
You have the right to:
 
  • Discuss your concerns about care with your physician or other caregivers.
  • File a grievance. If you want to file a grievance with this hospital, you may do so by writing or calling City of Hope Patient Advocate, 1500 E. Duarte Rd., Duarte, CA 91010, Phone 626-256-HOPE (4673), extension 62285.
  • The grievance committee will review each grievance and provide you with a written response within 30 days. The written response will contain the name of a person to contact at the hospital, the steps taken to investigate the grievance, the results of the grievance process, and the date of completion of the grievance process. Concerns regarding quality of care or premature discharge will also be referred to the appropriate Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization.
  • File a complaint with the state Department of Health and Human Services regardless of whether you use the hospital’s grievance process. The state Department of Health and Human Services phone number and address is: County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services, 3400 Aerojet Avenue, Suite 323, El Monte, CA 91731, 800-228-1019 or 626-569-3727. You may also contact The Joint Commission if you have any patient safety or quality concerns through www.jointcommission.org or by calling them at 800-994-6610.
 
Patient Responsibilities
 
  • You are responsible for providing complete and correct information about your medical history and current health condition. You are responsible for reporting changes in your condition. You are also responsible for reporting any concerns that you may have about the safety of your care.
  • It is important to follow the instructions of your doctor and care team. If you cannot follow your care instructions, you should discuss it with a member of your care team.
  • You are responsible for keeping your appointments and letting your doctor know when you are not able to keep them.
  • You are responsible for financial costs relating to your care. These costs must be paid in a timely manner.
  • You are expected to follow hospital rules about care and conduct. Please respect the rights and property of hospital staff and other patients. You are also expected to follow hospital rules such as those regarding noise, smoking and visitation.
  • You or your representative should tell the hospital if you have an advance directive. If you have one, please bring a copy to the Admitting Office. At the time of admission, we will need to know the identity of your agent and the general nature of your preferences for your care. A clinical social worker can help you prepare an advance directive if you have not done so.
  • You are responsible for asking questions when you do not understand what you have been told about your medical care or what is expected of you. Asking questions will help your care team provide the safest possible care.
 

FAQs

What is the first step to becoming a patient at City of Hope?

After checking that City of Hope treats your cancer or other diagnosis, you can contact New Patient Services by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673) or by completing the online request form to begin the process.

What can I expect when New Patient Services contacts me?

After completing the online Schedule a Callback form. or calling 800-826-HOPE (4673), a New Patient Specialist will ask you a few questions about yourself, your disease and your insurance. While all New Patient Specialists are carefully trained to initiate the process of becoming a patient, they are unable to answer specific questions about your illness or treatment. Then, the nurse will obtain a more detailed medical history and set up your appointment.

Can City of Hope review my medical charts and records via phone, mail, or online?

City of Hope offers in-person medical evaluations only.

What insurance information will I have to provide?

When a New Patient Specialist first contacts you, you will be asked to provide the name of your insurance company or managed care provider, plus your group and ID numbers. This information should be on medical insurance card.

Can I still be seen if I am part of an HMO?

If you are a member of an HMO, you will need to obtain written authorization from your primary care provider or medical group in order to be seen at City of Hope.

What if my insurance doesn't cover treatment at City of Hope?

If you wish to receive treatment at City of Hope but we do not currently contract with your insurance plan, contact your insurance company and ask about obtaining authorization to receive treatment here. Every medical situation - and every insurance plan - is different, and there is no guarantee that coverage can be secured. But it is reasonable to make this request, and to ask your insurance company to review the matter with City of Hope directly. Patients can also pay for their treatment. Full payment of anticipated expense is due at the first appointment, and includes (but may not be restricted to) costs for treatment, pharmaceuticals, and home care support.

Can you provide me with information about treatment or clinical trials at City of Hope?

You can immediately access Clinical Trials Online to find out about clinical trials that are being conducted at City of Hope; but you must first be seen by a doctor to determine whether you are eligible to participate in a specific trial. Once the patient has been seen by a City of Hope physician, he or she will be provided with information about treatment and can inquire about clinical trials.

What if I live outside the Greater Los Angeles area?

Patients from outside the Greater Los Angeles area can come to City of Hope if they have a diagnosis that City of Hope treats, the disease is at a stage of disease at which City of Hope intervenes, and the patient is at no risk from any travel required to reach City of Hope. Applicants and their families must be prepared for the possibility of a lengthy stay at or near City of Hope, with consideration given to housing, familial support systems, food, etc.

Do you offer pap smears or gynecologic exams?

City of Hope does not offer routine pap smears. However, a referral can be made to our gynecology department if you are already a patient, at high risk, taking Tamoxifen with irregular bleeding, or having abnormal side effects from other hormonal therapy.

Who should participate in a clinical trial?

A patient participating in a clinical trial typically receives a promising new treatment that needs to be investigated in order to receive government approval.
 
For many patients facing life-threatening diseases who have exhausted the available treatment options, clinical trials offer new hope for survival. The range of trials available today is extremely broad. Although many trials focus on patients with more advanced disease, a significant number of studies fall into areas such as screening techniques, early disease treatment and alleviation of symptoms.
 
All clinical trials have specific guidelines for participant eligibility. These guidelines are based on factors such as type of disease, age, medical history and current medical condition. Before entering into a clinical trial, you must meet the criteria for the study.
 
The benefits and risks
Participating in a clinical trial can be a way of helping yourself and others. Patients who participate in a clinical trial often feel they are taking a more active role in their care.
 
In a clinical trial, participants have access to new drugs and treatments before they are widely available. Because controlling and recording all factors is critical to the trial's success, participants get excellent attention and are closely monitored and cared for. In addition, the data gathered from the trial can go on to benefit others.
 
There are risks to participating in clinical trials that must be weighed against the potential benefits. There may be some unpleasant or serious side effects from treatment. The trial may take a lot of time with repeat hospital visits, additional treatments and involved dosages. And the treatment may not end up being effective for the person participating.

How do I find out more about clinical trials at City of Hope?

A listing of our active clinical trials are available online. To speak with one of our care professionals about treatment at City of Hope, contact our New Patient Services online or call us at 800-826-HOPE (4673).

How do I refer a patient to City of Hope?

If you are a practicing physician or calling on behalf of one, please call us at 1-800-826-HOPE (4673). Please be prepared to provide a complete clinical history so a treatment plan can be prepared and tentative cost can be evaluated. Note that international patients will be responsible for 100% of anticipated charges before an appointment for consultation can be scheduled.

How can I consult with a physician at City of Hope regarding a potential patient?

Patient Referral counselors, who can be reached at 800-826-HOPE (4673), triage patient information and place referring physicians in contact with City of Hope physicians to discuss appropriate treatment options and/or clinical trials. To consult with a specific City of Hope physician, please contact the City of Hope operator at 626-256-HOPE (4673) to be connected directly to the physician's office.

Will insurance cover my patient's care?

City of Hope will work with your patient and his or her insurance to verify benefits and coverage before the patient's scheduled visit to City of Hope. The patient can also contact Financial Support Services at 626-256-HOPE, Ext. 62715.

Can I submit information for a friend or family member who is diagnosed with cancer?

You can submit the Becoming a Patient Request Form on behalf of a family member or friend. However, you must do so with their knowledge and consent. City of Hope cannot contact a patient who is referred by a friend or family member, if the patient is not aware that a request has been submitted on their behalf.

What types of services are provided by the pharmacy?

The pharmacy department provides inpatient and ambulatory care services. In addition, the department operates an outpatient pharmacy for prescription services.
Patient Care Overview
City of Hope sees patients at all points in their care, from diagnosis, to treatment, through survivorship.
City of Hope combines compassionate care with the best and most innovative science. Our 100+ acre campus is designed to meet the full range of needs of our patients and families. This guide is designed to help you take advantage of all that is offered at City of Hope - Duarte.
Your insurance company/medical group will tell you if you need any authorizations. You can also find out what, if any, co-payments and deductibles will be your responsibility.
Interpreter Services
City of Hope offers free interpretation for patients and caregivers whose first language is not English. Please call 626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 62282, to reach the Clinical Social Work office.
Local Hotels, Motels and Services
Many hotels, motels and restaurants in neighboring communities offer special discounts to City of Hope patients and their families.
 
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