Ara Balkian, MD, MBA, is the founder and CEO of Pediatric Resource Group (PRG). He was the first hospitalist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and was the Associate Head of the Division of Hospital Medicine and the Associate Chair for the Department of Pediatrics until he took on his current role of Chief Medical Director of Inpatient Operations.
In that role, he has leadership over the Inpatient Access & Transfer Center, which is responsible for the handling of almost 18,000 admissions a year. He also leads the hospital’s utilization management (UM) program and chairs the UM committee. He is the medical director for inpatient care coordination and leads CHLA’s throughput management efforts and led the organization through a major change in 2013 (with a significant reduction in length-of-stay) when California’s Medicaid program moved to the APR-DRG reimbursement model. He helped develop and leads the Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) program with a 100% physician response rate since program inception. He developed and leads the Physician Advisor program and the Denials Management program. He has worked closely with the emergency department on performance improvement efforts, particularly as it relates to collaborative and seamless care between the ED and other departments/divisions in the hospital.
He has lectured nationally on topics related to hospital reimbursement, CDI, denials management, and pediatric physician advisor program development. He continues to see patients and teach trainees as a pediatric hospitalist and his research interests are focused on the efficient delivery of inpatient pediatric care. He also holds a faculty position at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California as an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics.
The driving force for starting PRG is his desire to leverage his experience and team of experts to positively affect pediatric organizations around the country with the ultimate goal of expanding and improving the care provided to children.