International Patient Referral Process

At UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we know that the highest quality of care we provide to our patients can only be achieved when we communicate clearly and in a timely manner with referring physicians.

Our efficient referral process was designed to streamline communications and achieve the best possible treatment of our patients.

1. Initial Contact

Contact us to begin the referral process. A member of the International Services team is waiting to assist you. Our experts are available to respond to questions by phone and e-mail within three business days.

Phone: +1-412-692-3000


2. Obtain the Required Materials:

  • An up-to-date medical record, preferably translated into English
  • Any applicable films and test results
  • A letter of explanation regarding the goals of the family in terms of the child’s treatment outcomes

3. Evaluation

Children’s Hospital physicians will carefully review medical histories to determine the best course of treatment and whether it will benefit a child and his or her family to travel to Pittsburgh to receive this treatment. We will make every effort to respond promptly regarding the doctor's medical opinion, including the estimated length of time a family would expect to spend in Pittsburgh.

4. Proposal Response

After Children’s Hospital doctors review a child's medical history, a plan of care, as well as an estimate of charges, is provided. The hospital requires a deposit based on those charges prior to any international visit. 

For U.S. patients, every effort will be made to obtain authorization from the family’s insurance company or other sponsor. Families of international patients must obtain all visas. Children’s Hospital cannot be a sponsor. A finance specialist will help arrange for deposits and handle all financial issues before, during and after a family’s stay. Providing information up-front regarding financial sponsorship will facilitate this process.

5. Travel and Accommodations

Once the plan of care has been agreed upon, a member of the International Services team will help with hospitality services such as providing directions for travel, arranging ground transportation to and from the airport, and reserving lodging accommodations.

6. Patient’s Stay with Children’s Hospital

The International Services team offers a variety of services throughout all aspects of a child’s clinical care and the family’s stay in Pittsburgh. All communications, including routine updates, will be coordinated through a single point of contact. In the event of an emergency, a liaison will respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

As with all of our patients, international and out-of-state patients and their families are always in caring hands during their stay with Children’s Hospital.

7. Post-discharge Follow-up

The International liaison’s work does not end once a child is released from the hospital. We will follow up with the patient, their family, and the referring physician, getting updates on the child's recovery and providing additional information as needed for post-discharge care.