Refer a Patient

To Refer a Patient:

Call the Bear Line to make an appointment at 1-888-884-BEAR

Fax a referral to 202-476-7651 

Call the Physician Access Line to consult with a specialist at 202-476-4880

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: 800-884-LIFE.

The Bear Direct 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 Referring Physician Access Line at 202-476-4880. 

Our Referring Physician Access Line offers timely access to Children’s National specialists for questions regarding consultations, referrals, and inpatient reports.When physicians call, a trained staff member will answer the line, ensuring a quicker response for you and your patient directly from a Children’s National specialist. 

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 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 process at After each referral you also will receive a quick survey link. We appreciate your time in providing feedback that will improve our service to you!

In This Section:

Referral Forms and Guidelines

Referral Guidelines for our subspecialty areas.

Children's National Gateway for Referring Physicians

Welcome to Children's National Gateway, our resource for referring physicians who would like real-time information on their patients referred to Children's National.