Frequently Asked Questions

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.

How do I obtain copies of my City of Hope 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.