A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE

Become a Patient - the first steps

The First Steps
City of Hope sees patients at all points in their care, from diagnosis, to treatment, to follow-up. To make an appointment for yourself, a family member or a friend, please contact City of Hope either by:
  • Telephone: 800-826-HOPE (4673)
  • Online: Complete and submit:
After quickly reviewing your information:
  • A new patient specialist will call you to ask a few preliminary questions about the diagnosis.
  • Confirm insurance information.
  • Address any non-medical queries you may have
Once your eligibility is verified:

City of Hope contracts with most major insurance companies and is skilled at helping families navigate through the various systems.


City of Hope contracts with most major Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) for hospital services. In addition, 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. Your insurance company can also tell you about any applicable co-payments or deductibles for which you will be responsible.

How to Obtain Your Medical Records

The recent enactment by Congress of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 combined with a growing number of Federal and State statutes regarding privacy and security of your personal health records has necessitated City of Hope to implement strict guidelines when releasing copies of your medical records.

Please carefully review the following information and instructions to expedite your medical records request:

An  Instruction Sheet for you, the patient, describing the process of obtaining copies of your own medical record - generally for personal use, such as building your personal health record.

An  Access to Protected Health Information Request Form for you, or your personal representative, to complete in order to physically obtain copies of your own records for the purpose above.

An  Access to Diagnostic Images Request Form for you, or your personal representative, to complete in order to physically obtain a CD of your own diagnostic images for your personal use.

An  Authorization to Use and Disclose Protected Health Information Form for you to authorize City of Hope to release records to someone other than yourself or your personal representative - usually another facility or provider for the continuity of your care, or for insurance information, or State disability forms, etc. – OR – for City of Hope to obtain copies of your records from another provider.

To learn more about the importance of maintaining a personal health record, please visit www.myphr.com.

You may mail your request packet to the City of Hope Medical Record Correspondence Desk at the address noted below:

City of Hope National Medical Center
Attn: Health Information Management Services
Medical Record Correspondence Desk
1500 East Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010

Or, you may drop off your request packet in person at the Medical Record Correspondence Desk, conveniently located at the Outpatient Registration Circle. Our staff can assist you in completing the forms and answer any questions you may have about the required information on the Access or Authorization Form.

Should you have questions about the status of your request after submission, please call our Health Information Management office at 626-256-4673 ext. 62446. Please allow five working days to pass before requesting status.

Department hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Preparing for Your Appointment

At the heart of City of Hope’s outpatient services lies our commitment to create the most positive experience possible by combining advanced treatments with compassionate, exemplary care.

Check In
  • Please notify the scheduler of any changes in your demographic information, such as address or telephone numbers
  • Bring your most current insurance card. If your insurance plan requires a co-payment, it will be collected at this time.
  • Please plan to arrive 20 minutes before your first scheduled appointment.
  • If you have a lab appointment or diagnostic test, please go to the area listed on your appointment slip.
  • Most patients must sign in at Ambulatory Care Patient Check-in. Most outpatient clinics are located in the Geri & Richard Brawerman Ambulatory Care Center.
  • Outpatient Surgery Center is located on the third floor of Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center. Outpatient surgery center patients may check-in on the third floor.
  • For Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women’s Health Center, please check-in directly at Women’s Health Center.

  • All patients and family members must first sign in with the attendant in City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital’s lobby.
  • Hospital admitting is located adjacent to Helford Hospital’s first floor waiting area.
  • The Pre-anesthesia Testing (PAT) Clinic is located on Helford Hospital’s second floor.
Check Out
Following your visit, please check out at the appointment desk on the floor where your appointment was scheduled. Your next clinic appointment will be scheduled here, as well as any lab or diagnostic testing appointments.
  • If you need to schedule, change or confirm your appointment, call 800-934-5555 Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • For pediatric patients, you may also call the pediatric scheduler directly during normal business hours at 626-256-HOPE, ext. 62624.
  • If you need to change your Radiology appointment, call 626-301-8252, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visitation Guidelines

Family and friends are always welcome and encouraged to visit patients during a hospital stay.
  • General visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
  • The Admitting Department issues wristbands to “primary visitors” – typically the closest family or friends – that allow 24-hour visitation.
  • All other 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.
  • With the exception of Pediatrics, children less than five years of age cannot visit patients or enter patient care units unless special permission is granted.
  • Children less than five years of age are not allowed to visit in Pediatrics during the flu season.
  • Children under the age of fourteen must be supervised at all times.
  • For the welfare of patients, patient care staff may request that visitors leave a patient room at any time.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
In the ICU, visitors may stay up to five minutes per hour, with a maximum of two visitors at a time. Visits are not permitted during shift changes, which are 7 to 8 a.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Parents, of course, are permitted to stay with their children in the unit. Children under the age of twelve are not allowed to visit the ICU. For our patients’ well being, cellular phones are not allowed in the ICU.

Flowers, Live Plants and Balloons
We understand the desire to lift a patient’s spirits with balloons, flowers or plants. However, for the health and safety of everyone concerned – patients, family members and staff – some items are restricted.

  • No latex or rubber balloons are allowed in Helford Hospital because of possible allergic reactions to latex.
  • Metallic (mylar) balloons are not permitted in the Intensive Care Unit because they can interfere with electronic medical equipment.
  • Because of the severity of their illnesses, ICU patients may not have any floral arrangements (fresh or artificial) or plants.
  • Surgical patients on 4 West may not have live plants or flowers.
  • Patients on Pediatrics, 5 East, 5 West, 6 East and 6 West may have silk or plastic flowers, as long as any of the decorative moss has been removed.

Patient and Visitor Lounges
Soothing and comfortable patient lounges are located on the third through sixth floors of Helford Hospital, while visitor waiting areas and lounges are available throughout the entire facility.

Smoking Policy
For the safety and health of patients, visitors and staff, no smoking is allowed on the City of Hope campus, inside or outside.



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 ext. 62285.

Patient Rights

As a patient or parent of a minor patient it is important to know the rights you have under federal and California state law.


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
  • 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.
Financial Notices
  • Financial Assistance Program
    Consistent with its mission, City of Hope provides free or reduced cost medical services to persons who are unable to pay for their care. Please discuss your individual needs with a City of Hope financial counselor in Financial Support Services, extension 62715. Upon completion of a Financial Assistance Application Form, along with the submission of all required documents, you may be eligible for financial assistance as defined by the City of Hope Indigent Care Policy.


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 request 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, a nurse will call you to verify your insurance eligibility and obtain a more detailed medical history.

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 and confirm whether you are part of a medical group.

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 practice in the United States, please call us at 1-800-826-HOPE (4673), or by email at referapatient@coh.org. Physicians from outside the US can also refer a patient by calling 1-800-826-HOPE or emailing referapatient@coh.org. Because of the level of detail necessary to make an evaluation, as well as time differences, it may be preferable to use email as your first contact. 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
Whether you're becoming a patient or referring one, learn all of the ways City of Hope can help you begin your patient or caregiver journey.

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.
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.
Our treatment facilities are located throughout our 100+ acre grounds in Duarte, California as well as in  Antelope Valley, South Pasadena, Santa Clarita and Palm Springs.
  • For breast cancer survivors, a common worry is a recurrence of their cancer. Currently, these patients are screened with regular mammograms, but there’s no way to tell who is more likely to have a recurrence and who is fully cleared of her cancer. A new blood test – reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the...
  • Metastasis — the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor site to other parts of the body — generally leads to poorer outcomes for patients, so oncologists and researchers are constantly seeking new ways to detect and thwart this malicious process. Now City of Hope researchers may have identified a substa...
  • Deodorant, plastic bottles, grilled foods, artificial sweeteners, soy products … Do any of these products really cause cancer? With so many cancer myths and urban legends out there, why not ask the experts? They can debunk cancer myths while sharing cancer facts that matter, such as risk factors, preventi...
  • Cancer risk varies by ethnicity, as does the risk of cancer-related death. But the size of those differences can be surprising, highlighting the health disparities that exist among various ethnic groups in the United States. Both cancer incidence and death rates for men are highest among African-Americans, acco...
  • George Winston, known worldwide for his impressionistic, genre-defying music, considers music to be his first language, and admits he often stumbles over words – especially when he attempts languages other than English. There’s one German phrase he’s determined to perfect, however: danke schön. Winston thinks h...
  • Few decisions are more important than those involving health care, and few decisions can have such lasting impact, not only on oneself but on relatives and loved ones. Those choices, especially, should be made in advance – carefully, deliberately, free of pain and stress, and with much weighing of values and pr...
  • Using a card game to make decisions about health care, especially as those decisions relate to the end of life, would seem to be a poor idea. It isn’t. The GoWish Game makes those overwhelming, but all-important decisions not just easy, but natural. On each card of the 36-card deck is listed what seriously ill,...
  • Young adults and adolescents with cancer face unique challenges both during their treatment and afterward. Not only are therapies for children and older adults not always appropriate for them, they also must come to terms with the disease and treatment’s impact on their relationships, finances, school or ...
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancer, among women in the United States. It’s also the second-leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer. In the past several years, various task force recommendations and studies have questioned the benefits of broad screening guidelines fo...
  • Paternal age and the health effects it has on potential offspring have been the focus of many studies, but few have examined the effect parental age has on the risk of adult-onset hormone-related cancers (breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer). A team of City of Hope researchers, lead by Yani Lu,...
  • Hormone therapy, which is prescribed to women for relief of menopausal symptoms such hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, has recently seen a decline in popularity (and use) due to its link to an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer. But City of Hope researchers have found that menopausal h...
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms can’t be narrowed down to a single cancer, but they can be described by a defining characteristic: too many blood cells. The diseases bring with them a host of frustrating, potentially life-altering symptoms, and management of the diseases and their symptoms is crucial. An upcoming ...
  • More than 18,000 researchers, clinicians, advocates and other professionals will convene at the 105th American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting taking place in San Diego from April 5 to 9. With more than 6,000 findings being presented over this five-day period, the amount of information can...
  • Cancer of the prostate is the No. 2 cancer killer of men, behind lung cancer, accounting for more than 29,000 deaths annually in this country. But because prostate cancer advances slowly, good prostate health and early detection can make all the difference. Many prostate cancer tumors don’t require immedi...
  • Despite advances made in detecting and treating nonsmall cell lung cancer, its prognosis remains grim. Even patients whose cancers are caught at their earliest stage have only a 50 percent chance of five-year survival. This poor prognosis is due in part to the cancer’s ability to resist treatment, renderi...