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Refer a Patient

Specialty Referral Request
Practices may now FAX referrals for pediatric specialty care to Children’s National Health System. This new system allows you to seamlessly send referral information to our Contact Center.
Download the Referral Form
Resource Materials 
Tools to help you choose a specialist for your patient and find the location of services closest to your practice.
Referral Guidelines 
Children’s National partnered with community pediatricians to adapt the American Academy of Pediatrics management and referral guidelines, as well as other sources in the field, to assist healthcare providers when making a referral.
Physician Relations
The Physician Relations Program serves as the liaison between community physicians and the many services of Children’s National. Call our team for more information about our service lines and world-class team, urgent appointments, or to request a visit from a liaison.

Any physician, health professional or healthcare agency may refer a patient to Children’s specialty services at the Hospital or Regional Outpatient Centers.

Important Phone Numbers

Physician to Physician Access Line: 202-476-4880
Available 24/7, operators page the physician on-call for the specialty you need

Emergency Consult/Transfer/Direct Admission to Children’s National: 888-884-LIFE (5433)
Immediate access to Children’s Emergency Communications Information Center

Physician Relations: 202-476-4418
Connecting our referring healthcare community to the services at Children’s National

Update Referring Physician Contact Information
Have you moved or opened another office location? Children’s National wants to ensure you receive reports and discharge summaries on your patients. Click here to update your address, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address.

Direct Admit
Community physicians can now call Bear Direct and refer a patient for admission to our hospital. This means that any physician—you do not need privileges or credentials through Children’s National—can refer a patient. The number is the same toll free number you have used in the past for Emergency Department referrals: 888-884-LIFE.

Our Information Center is available 24/7. Your call will be directed to a physician who will obtain further details and facilitate the admission process with the help of a dedicated admission nurse. Outpatient consultations are still managed through our Physician to Physician Access Line at 202-476-4880.

Criteria And Common Conditions For Admission
Your evaluation of the patient on the day of the referral will help us understand your patient’s needs. Some of the common conditions for inpatient referral include:
  • Failure to thrive
  • Fever of unknown origin
  • Failure of outpatient therapy
If you are unsure if a patient needs emergency care or admission, our team will help determine the best treatment plan for your patient. Direct admissions require your practice to obtain pre-authorization by payors. Our Bear Direct Case Manager can provide assistance, if needed.

We Want Your Feedback
We appreciate hearing your feedback on this new process at

In addition, after each referral you will receive a quick survey link. We appreciate your time in providing feedback that will improve our service to you!

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