Preparing for Your First Appointment

How to Prepare for Your Visit to Fred Hutch

We are here to help you prepare for your first appointment with us. Learn about what you need to bring and other things to consider prior to your first visit at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. 

What To Do In Advance

Transfer Your Medical Records

This may require a Release of Information form. Your patient care coordinator will contact any other health care providers to get additional pertinent medical records.

Release of Information Form

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Check your insurance coverage or investigate other ways to pay for your care. You will be asked to sign a financial consent form at registration.

Read more about Insurance and Billing

Planning Your Seattle Stay

  • Check your Fred Hutch itinerary; it lists times and locations for your appointments. 
  • Plan for travel, including a ride from the airport.
  • Reserve housing if you’ll need it. 
  • Get a visa if you need one.
  • If you need an interpreter for yourself or a family member, we will arrange it.

What to Bring to Your Appointment

  • Comfortable clothing and shoes: Wear them to your first visit, and dress in layers.
  • Financial information: Your insurance information, photo ID, referral from primary care provider if required by your insurance company, and money for parking. For information on insurance coverage and financial assistance, see Insurance and Billing.
  • Medical information: List of your current medications (prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins and supplements) and any medical history form you’ve been asked to fill out.
  • Questions for your doctor. 
  • A friend or family member for support and a notebook and pen to take notes during your appointments.
  • A book, computer, music player or handwork to pass the time between appointments. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the clinic.

Other Things to Consider

  • Pathology slide review before your first appointment: If you’ve had a biopsy or tissue specimen taken at another facility, in most cases, Fred Hutch will need to perform a second interpretation and confirmation of your diagnosis. If a second interpretation is needed, we will request your pathology slides from the facility where your biopsy or procedure was performed. If you’re unsure whether your pathology slides have been requested, please contact your scheduling team at 206.606.7222.  
    • If your pathology slides are ordered for review at our pathology laboratory, you and/or your insurance company will be financially responsible for the charges incurred even if you cancel or fail to keep your appointment. 
    • You and/or your insurance company will receive a bill from UW Physicians as our pathology laboratory is located at University of Washington Medical Center. 
    • The cost of the pathology review is variable and depends on the number of slides and the type of testing required. If you have any questions, please contact your insurance provider.
  • Know our guidelines to protect patients, such as alerting staff when you have cold symptoms. We ask that you not smoke, wear fragrances, bring fresh flowers, weapons, or illegal substances to any Fred Hutch clinic.
  • Complete a living will and power of attorney for health care, which lets you state your wishes regarding your care and appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to. Bring copies if you want these placed in your medical record.
  • Contact the Fred Hutch patient navigation team: Patient navigators are culturally sensitive staff who are here to help guide you through your time at Fred Hutch, so you can focus on taking care of yourself. They help with medical transportation and lodging, financial and insurance concerns, medication co-pays and other practical issues when people face a cancer diagnosis.