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Inpatient Transfer Services

UC San Diego Health is widely recognized as one of the country's premier health care systems. As the only academic health system in San Diego, we offer your patients treatments not available elsewhere in the region, including expertise with ECMO life support technology.

Open 24/7 and staffed by a registered nurse, our Transfer Center maintains communication with referring facilities throughout the transfer process.

Easy Transfer Process

The most efficient way to start the transfer process is for a physician or hospital representative or physician to fill out and send a Transfer Request Form before calling. 

  • Fax / Email: Fill out the Transfer Request Form and fax it to 619-543-8394 or email to
    • ECMO transfers: For patients who are currently on ECMO, please include an ECMO Intake Form with your transfer request. If you are transferring a patient for ECMO consideration, you do not need to include an intake form, but please write "ECMO consideration" as a reason for transfer on the request form. 
  • Phone: Call the Transfer Center at 619-471-3868. If your form has already been faxed or emailed, we can work with you more efficiently to discuss:
    • Clinical presentation, obtained via a detailed clinical screen
    • Level of care required, medical necessity, and benefit to patient
    • Evaluation of closer facilities offering the same required level of care
    • Insurance availability, eligibility, and authorization for transfer

The request will be evaluated by a Transfer Center registered nurse in collaboration with a UC San Diego Health physician. The decision will be based on the required level of care, capacity, financial clearance and approval of the accepting physician. If the request is cleared, a Transfer Center nurse will secure a bed with the required level of care and arrange for appropriate transportation.

Your Point of Contact

We use a multidisciplinary approach to patient transfer – coordinating with physicians, transfer center staff, case managers and financial counselors. The UC San Diego Health Transfer Center serves as the point of contact for:

  • Clinical triage
  • Pre-certification
  • Bed identification
  • Transfer preparations
  • Inter-facility transport
  • Regular patient updates

UC San Diego Health Specialties

  • BMT (blood and marrow transplant)
  • Cancer/oncology
  • ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation)
  • Gastroenterology / liver disease
  • Heart failure
  • Microvascular surgery
  • Obstetrics
  • PTE (pulmonary thromboendarterectomy)
  • Bariatric surgery / gastric banding / Lap-Band
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Organ transplants
  • Trauma, surgical critical care and burns

Our Transfer Center policies and guidelines are designed to adhere to Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) regulations and to facilitate the request in the fastest manner possible.

​Contact the Transfer Center

Local: 619-543-5709
Toll-free domestic: 888-543-5709
Toll-free international: 001-888-543-5709
Transferring physicians: 619-471-3868

Transfer Center Request
ECMO Intake Form (required only for patients already on ECMO)
Fax: 619-543-8394