Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Patient Information and Resources

A congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) diagnosis can be scary and confusing. Don’t give up hope. Our experts at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital are here to help.

In the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) Program, we perform dozens of CDH surgeries a year with survival and outcomes that are among the highest in the country.

Our collaborative approach brings together specialists across multiple disciplines—including maternal-fetal specialists, pediatric surgeons, neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists and others—to provide your child with comprehensive, research-based care.

There are a number of additional resources available to assist you and your family while your child receives care for CDH at Johns Hopkins All Children's:

Patients & Families Resources

Our Patients & Families Resources section provides important information about your stay. Our downloadable Inpatient Family Guide provides valuable practical information on hospital policies, resources, dedicated family spaces and more. 

Family Support

 It is important to know that you are not alone in your child’s CDH diagnosis. In addition to the expert care team here to help you at Johns Hopkins All Children’s, two independent, third-party organizations offer assistance to families affected by CDH. The Tiny Hero Foundation and the Fore Hadley Foundation offer supportive, hope-filled communities that help individual families and support CDH research efforts.

Ronald McDonald House

Since 2016, 41 percent of our CDH patients and their families have traveled from other states to receive care at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Families who travel from out of town for care may request a room at any of the three Ronald McDonald Houses located on campus. The Ronald McDonald House can act as a home away from home, supporting families whose children need inpatient care, and who live a distance from the hospital.

Integrated Care Management

Social, spiritual and emotional support play an important role in family-centered care. Social workers, pastoral care, and our palliative care team called Team Hope are all available through Integrated Care Management to help guide you through difficult passages in care.

Patient Relations Representatives

Dedicated Patient Relations representatives are available at any point during your child’s inpatient stay to help you with a number of concerns—whether it is helping you voice your opinion, understand and navigate your child’s treatment, listening to any general concerns and providing support.
To speak with a Patient Relations representative, call 727-767-2110 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email us at any time.

Health Insurance Considerations and Timelines

Each insurance plan has specific benefits and providers available in their network. Many hospitals check to make sure a patient’s insurance is active, but do not check benefit exclusions before a consultation. At Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, we work with the insurance company to obtain authorization for the entire course of treatment (e.g., maternal consultation, fetal echocardiogram, inpatient stay for the baby, etc.). This is an in-depth process and ensures you do not receive unexpected medical bills after discharge.

If you are seeking services at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, a patient account coordinator will work with you through the entire process. He or she will contact you within a week of your inquiry to our clinical team. Please feel free to direct any questions or concerns to your coordinator. They work directly with the clinical team to submit all relevant clinical documentation to the insurance company for processing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does this process take?
A: The process takes an average of one to six weeks depending on the insurance plan and member’s benefits. PPO plans typically have out-of-network benefits and are the fastest to clear. If the patient has an HMO plan and does not live in the geographic area of the hospital, it will take longer. Once the member is eligible, we work to secure in-network benefits and work through the prior authorization process.

Many hospitals cannot accept out-of-state Medicaid because there is a preferred provider in the local market. At Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, we assist families who have issues with their current health plan with locating a marketplace plan to cover services to be rendered in Florida if they have a qualifying life-changing event.

Q: Will my out-of-state Medicaid cover treatment in Florida?
A: It is important for families to contact us so we can determine your health insurance authorization process or explore alternative funding. Your patient account coordinator will discuss your options and answer any questions you have about your coverage.

Q: Why does this process take longer at some hospitals than others?
A: Each facility may approach this process a little differently. At Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, we work with the insurance company to obtain authorization for the entire course of treatment (e.g., maternal consultation, fetal echocardiogram, inpatient stay for the baby once born, etc.). This is an in-depth process and ensures you do not receive unexpected medical bills after discharge. If the insurance company denies any part of the treatment, we work with the family to appeal the decision. The appeal process can take three to six weeks.

If you have questions about this process, please contact Patient Accounts Administration at 727-767-3030.

Read inspiring stories about our families:

Fragile Cargo

A doctor and his team go the extra mile to improve the odds for a baby with life-threatening congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Read More

The Birthday Boys

A first birthday is especially sweet for three babies born with life-threatening congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

Read More

Improving Survival for Infants with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Pediatric surgeons at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital are pushing survival rates for infants with CDH above 90 percent.

Read More

Prepare for your stay by reading our Inpatient Family Guide

 It’s a little easier when you know what to expect and understand what’s going on around you. We hope this guide will be a handy source of information about how our Hospital works. If you have questions or need assistance, don't be afraid to ask. We are here to help.