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Coronavirus Update: What patients and families need to know

Refer a Patient

Orthopedic Patient Traction Care with Provider

Specialty Referral Guidelines

Whether your patient needs to see a cardiologist or a headache specialist, we have referral guidelines to help you provide the best specialty options for your patients.

View our guidelines

How to Refer a Patient 

  • Physician Access Line. Call the Physician Access Line to consult with a specialist at 202-476-4880, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. After hours, hospital operators continue to monitor the line.
    • This line for referring physicians offers timely access to Children’s National Hospital 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.
  • Fax a referral. You can fax a referral to 202-476-7651. Learn more about this process.
  • International patients. To refer an international patient, please contact us at +1-202-476-5778 or

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.

Share Your Imaging

Health care providers can share patient exams with us on the lifeIMAGE Network.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Admission

The Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences new patient packets can be filled out by the patient’s parents or guardians with your assistance. The packets should then be returned to Psychiatry via email, mail or fax (please see the packets for more information). If you have additional questions, please call Psychiatry at 202-476-5980.

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!