Skip to main content

Ambulatory Services

Referring Patients to Seattle Children's Hospital

Expand Anchor Panel

A Step-by-Step Guide to Referring Patients to Seattle Children's Hospital

  1. Choose one of the following options:

    Refer via eReferral in Care Gateway.
    eReferral allows you to track the status of your referral online.


    Refer by phone:
    866-987-2080 (toll-free)


    Refer by fax:
    Fax the New Appointment Request Form (NARF) (PDF) (DOC)
    866-985-3121 (toll-free)

    Clinic referral information is available for many subspecialties.
    Please include as much information about the patient’s history and reason for the referral as possible to help us provide optimal consultation.
  2. Fax relevant clinical documentation:
    866-985-3121 (toll-free)
    Use these numbers for referrals to all clinics.
  3. Hand out "Referral Information for Families" sheet.

    When you refer a patient to Children’s, please give the family a copy of “Referral Information for Families,” which guides families through our appointment-making process.

    Available in:
    English (PDF)
    Spanish (PDF)
    Russian (PDF)
    Vietnamese (PDF)
  4. Instruct the family to call us to schedule the appointment.

    Families can call to schedule 24 hours after the referral is submitted. Many clinics’ scheduling phone numbers are available on the “Referral Information for Families” sheet. Or they can call:
    866-987-2000 (toll-free)
    206-987-2280 (TTY)
  5. We will send you and your patient a written confirmation of the appointment and provider information.

For more information, please read our New Patient Referrals FAQs.

Consult or Referral?

To meet requirements of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), please specify whether your request for specialty care is for a consult or a referral (transfer of care).

According to CMS, a consult has three components: a question with a request for a response, a face-to-face evaluation, and the actual response to the requesting provider.

A referral indicates that you would like to transfer all or part of your patient’s care to a Children’s provider.

The New Appointment Request Form (NARF) includes both options; please select the one that applies to your request. The correct designation allows Children’s to appropriately bill for services and avoid fines for billing inappropriately.

By the CMS definition, a referral, also known as a transfer of care, only applies to a small number of our new patient visits, such as when a patient moves into our area and is referred to a clinic for care of a chronic health issue.

See our clinic referral information.

Urgent Referrals

If you have a request that needs immediate attention, please call the provider on call for the specific specialty through the physician operator at 206-987-7777.

Referrals to Multiple Clinics

If your patient needs appointments with multiple clinics, calling in the referral is the most efficient way to coordinate these appointments.

Insurance Authorization Forms

Some health plans, including Molina and Group Health, still require advance authorization. Insurance authorization is a separate process that requires the use of the individual health plan's authorization form.

Those forms should be faxed to Children’s Insurance Processing Department at 206-985-3297.

No-Shows and Late Arrival Policy

If a patient is more than 20 minutes late to an appointment, clinic staff may ask to reschedule the appointment in order to honor commitments to other families. After three clinic no-shows, patients will be returned to the care of their PCP.

This will be enforced at the discretion of the Children’s specialist, who will communicate with the PCP prior to notifying the patient's family.

Repeat last-minute cancellations (notice of less than 24 hours) may qualify as no-shows.