Ji E Chang
Assistant Professor of Public Health Policy and Management
Dr Ji. Chang is an equity-focused health services researcher who studies the role of organization, management, and policies in facilitating equitable access to evidence-based care. The primary goal of her research has been to build a greater understanding and awareness of how changes in health care policy, organization, and delivery may differentially affect disadvantaged populations and safety net providers. She uses mixed-methods research designs to demonstrate disparities in the availability of care and highlight barriers faced by safety net providers and underserved patients in accessing evidence-based care. In addition to research, Dr. Chang is enthusiastic about developing new courses in the Public Health Policy and Management program and training students to face the workforce with skills that are both desired and needed in public health organizations.
Dr. Chang received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley as a Regents and Chancellor’s Scholar in 2005, a M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University with distinction in 2007, and a PhD in Public Administration from New York University in 2016.
BA, Economics, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CAMS, Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PAPhD, Public Administration, New York University, New York, NY
Governor’s Scholar (2007)Regents and Chancellors’ Scholar (2005)
Continuity of CareInter-organizational NetworksPublic Health ManagementPublic Health Policy
Patients’ Perspectives on the Shift to Telemedicine in Primary and Behavioral Health Care during the COVID-19 PandemicBerry, C. A., Kwok, L., Massar, R., Chang, J. E., Lindenfeld, Z., Shelley, D. R., & Albert, S. L. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of general internal medicine
Page(s)4248-4256AbstractBackground: Studies specifically focused on patients’ perspectives on telemedicine visits in primary and behavioral health care are fairly limited and have often focused on highly selected populations or used overall satisfaction surveys. Objective: To examine patient perspectives on the shift to telemedicine, the remote delivery of health care via the use of electronic information and communications technology, in primary and behavioral health care in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) during COVID-19. Design: Semi-structured interviews were conducted using video conference with patients and caregivers between October and December 2020. Participants: Providers from 6 FQHCs nominated participants. Eighteen patients and caregivers were interviewed: 6 patients with only primary care visits; 5 with only behavioral health visits; 3 with both primary care and behavioral health visits; and 4 caregivers of children with pediatric visits. Approach: Using a protocol-driven, rapid qualitative methodology, we analyzed the interview data and assessed the quality of care, benefits and challenges of telemedicine, and use of telemedicine post-pandemic. Key Results: Respondents broadly supported the option of home-based synchronous telemedicine visits in primary and behavioral health care. Nearly all respondents appreciated remote visits, largely because such visits provided a safe option during the pandemic. Patients were generally satisfied with telemedicine and believed the quality of visits to be similar to in-person visits, especially when delivered by a provider with whom they had established rapport. Although most respondents planned to return to mostly in-person visits when considered safe to do so, they remained supportive of the continued option for remote visits as remote care addresses some of the typical barriers faced by low-income patients. Conclusions: Addressing digital literacy challenges, enhancing remote visit privacy, and improving practice workflows will help ensure equitable access to all patients as we move to a new post-COVID-19 “normal” marked by increased reliance on telemedicine and technology.
Racial/ethnic disparities in the availability of hospital based opioid use disorder treatmentChang, J. E., Franz, B., Cronin, C. E., Lindenfeld, Z., Lai, A. Y., & Pagán, J. A. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Volume138AbstractIntroduction: While racial/ethnic disparities in the use of opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment in outpatient settings are well documented in the literature, little is known about racial/ethnic disparities in access to hospital-based OUD services. This study examines the relationship between hospital-based or initiated OUD services and the racial/ethnic composition of the surrounding community. Methods: We constructed a dataset marking the implementation of eight OUD strategies for a 20% random sample of nonprofit hospitals in the United States based on 2015–2018 community health needs assessments. We tested the significance of the relationship between each OUD strategy and the racial/ethnic composition of the surrounding county using two-level mixed effects logistic regression models that considered the hierarchical structure of the data of hospitals within states while controlling for hospital-level county-level, and state-level covariates. Results: In both unadjusted and adjusted models, we found that hospital adoption of several OUD services significantly varied based on the percentage of Black or Hispanic residents in their communities. Even after controlling for hospital size, the overdose burden in the community, community socioeconomic characteristics, and state funding, hospitals in communities with high percentage of Black or Hispanic residents had significantly lower odds of offering the most common hospital-based programs to address OUD – including programs that increase access to formal treatment services, prescriber guidelines, targeted risk education and harm reduction, and community coalitions to address opioid use. Conclusions: Hospital adoption of many OUD services varies based on the percentage of Black or Hispanic residents in their communities. More attention should be paid to the role, ability, and strategies that hospitals can assume to address disparities among OUD treatment and access needs, especially those that serve communities with a high concentration of Black and Hispanic residents.
Synchronous Home-Based Telemedicine for Primary Care: A ReviewLindenfeld, Z., Berry, C., Albert, S., Massar, R., Shelley, D., Kwok, L., Fennelly, K., & Chang, J. E. (n.d.).
Journal titleMedical Care Research and ReviewAbstractSynchronous home-based telemedicine for primary care experienced growth during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. A review was conducted on the evidence reporting on the feasibility of synchronous telemedicine implementation within primary care, barriers and facilitators to implementation and use, patient characteristics associated with use or nonuse, and quality and cost/revenue-related outcomes. Initial database searches yielded 1,527 articles, of which 22 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Synchronous telemedicine was considered appropriate for visits not requiring a physical examination. Benefits included decreased travel and wait times, and improved access to care. For certain services, visit quality was comparable to in-person care, and patient and provider satisfaction was high. Facilitators included proper technology, training, and reimbursement policies that created payment parity between telemedicine and in-person care. Barriers included technological issues, such as low technical literacy and poor internet connectivity among certain patient populations, and communication barriers for patients requiring translators or additional resources to communicate.
Rapid Transition to Telehealth and the Digital Divide: Implications for Primary Care Access and Equity in a Post-COVID EraChang, J. E., Lai, A. Y., Gupta, A., Nguyen, A. M., Berry, C. A., & Shelley, D. R. (n.d.).
Journal titleMilbank Quarterly
Page(s)340-368AbstractPolicy Points Telehealth has many potential advantages during an infectious disease outbreak such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to telehealth as a prominent care delivery mode. Not all health care providers and patients are equally ready to take part in the telehealth revolution, which raises concerns for health equity during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Without proactive efforts to address both patient- and provider-related digital barriers associated with socioeconomic status, the wide-scale implementation of telehealth amid COVID-19 may reinforce disparities in health access in already marginalized and underserved communities. To ensure greater telehealth equity, policy changes should address barriers faced overwhelmingly by marginalized patient populations and those who serve them. Context: The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed fundamental shifts across the US health care delivery system, including a rapid transition to telehealth. Telehealth has many potential advantages, including maintaining critical access to care while keeping both patients and providers safe from unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus. However, not all health care providers and patients are equally ready to take part in this digital revolution, which raises concerns for health equity during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: The study analyzed data about small primary care practices’ telehealth use and barriers to telehealth use collected from rapid-response surveys administered by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Bureau of Equitable Health Systems and New York University from mid-April through mid-June 2020 as part of the city's efforts to understand how primary care practices were responding to the COVID-19 pandemic following New York State's stay-at-home order on March 22. We focused on small primary care practices because they represent 40% of primary care providers and are disproportionately located in low-income, minority or immigrant areas that were more severely impacted by COVID-19. To examine whether telehealth use and barriers differed based on the socioeconomic characteristics of the communities served by these practices, we used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to stratify respondents as being in high-SVI or low-SVI areas. We then characterized respondents’ telehealth use and barriers to adoption by using means and proportions with 95% confidence intervals. In addition to a primary analysis using pooled data across the five waves of the survey, we performed sensitivity analyses using data from respondents who only took one survey, first wave only, and the last two waves only. Findings: While all providers rapidly shifted to telehealth, there were differences based on community characteristics in both the primary mode of telehealth used and the types of barriers experienced by providers. Providers in high-SVI areas were almost twice as likely as providers in low-SVI areas to use telephones as their primary telehealth modality (41.7% vs 23.8%; P <.001). The opposite was true for video, which was used as the primary telehealth modality by 18.7% of providers in high-SVI areas and 33.7% of providers in low-SVI areas (P <0.001). Providers in high-SVI areas also faced more patient-related barriers and fewer provider-related barriers than those in low-SVI areas. Conclusions: Between April and June 2020, telehealth became a prominent mode of primary care delivery in New York City. However, the transition to telehealth did not unfold in the same manner across communities. To ensure greater telehealth equity, policy changes should address barriers faced overwhelmingly by marginalized patient populations and those who serve them.
Telephone vs. video visits during COVID-19: Safety-net provider perspectivesChang, J. E., Lindenfeld, Z., Albert, S. L., Massar, R., Shelley, D., Kwok, L., Fennelly, K., & Berry, C. A. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Page(s)1103-1114AbstractObjective: To review the frequency as well as the pros and cons of telephone and video-enabled telemedicine during the first 9 months of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as experienced by safety net providers across New York State (NYS). Methods: Analysis of visits to 36 community health centers (CHCs) in NYS by modality (telephone vs video) from February to November 2020. Semi-structured interviews with 25 primary care, behavioral health, and pediatric providers from 8 CHCs. Findings: In the week following the NYS stay-at-home order, video and telephone visits rose from 3.4 and 0% of total visits to 14.9 and 22.3%. At its peak, more than 60% of visits were conducted via telemedicine (April 2020) before tapering off to about 30% of visits (August 2020). Providers expressed a strong preference for video visits, particularly for situations when visual assessments were needed. Yet, more visits were conducted over telephone than video at all points throughout the pandemic. Video-specific advantages included enhanced ability to engage patients and use of visual cues to get a comprehensive look into the patient’s life, including social supports, hygiene, and medication adherence. Telephone presented unique benefits, including greater privacy, feasibility, and ease of use that make it critical to engage with key populations and as a backup for when video was not an option. Conclusions: Despite challenges, providers reported positive experiences delivering care remotely using both telephone and video during the COVID-19 pandemic and believe both modalities are critical for enabling access to care in the safety net.
Difficulty Hearing Is Associated With Low Levels of Patient ActivationChang, J. E., Weinstein, B. E., Chodosh, J., Greene, J., & Blustein, J. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of the American Geriatrics SocietyAbstractBACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Patient activation encompasses the knowledge, skills, and confidence that equip adults to participate actively in their healthcare. Patients with hearing loss may be less able to participate due to poor aural communication. We examined whether difficulty hearing is associated with lower patient activation. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: A nationally representative sample of Americans aged 65 years and older (n = 13 940) who participated in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) during the years 2011 to 2013. MEASUREMENT: Self-reported degree of difficulty hearing (“no trouble,” “a little trouble,” and “a lot of trouble”) and overall activation based on aggregated scored responses to 16 questions from the MCBS Patient Activation Supplement: low activation (below the mean minus 0.5 SDs), high activation (above the mean plus 0.5 SDs), and medium activation (the remainder). Sociodemographic and self-reported clinical measures were also included. RESULTS: “A little trouble” hearing was reported by 5655 (40.6%) of respondents, and “a lot of trouble” hearing was reported by 893 (6.4%) of respondents. Difficulty hearing was significantly associated with low patient activation: in analyses using multivariable multinomial logistic regression, respondents with “a little trouble” hearing had 1.42 times the risk of low vs high activation (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.27-1.58), and those with “a lot of trouble” hearing had 1.70 times the risk of low vs high activation (95% CI = 1.29-2.11), compared with those with “no trouble” hearing. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of people aged 65 years and older reported difficulty hearing, and those reporting difficulty were at risk of low patient activation. That risk rose with increased difficulty hearing. Given the established link between activation and outcomes of care, and in view of the association between hearing loss and poor healthcare quality and outcomes, clinicians may be able to improve care for people with hearing loss by attending to aural communication barriers.
Hearing loss is associated with low patient activationBlustein, J., Chang, J., Weinstein, B., Greene, J., & Chodosh, J. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Coordination across ambulatory care a comparison of referrals and health information exchange across convenient and traditional settingsChang, J., Chokshi, D., & Ladapo, J. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Ambulatory Care Management
Page(s)128-137AbstractUrgent care centers have been identified as one means of shifting care from high-cost emergency departments while increasing after-hours access to care. However, the episodic nature of urgent care also has the potential to fragment care. In this study, we examine the adoption of 2 coordination activities—referrals and the electronic exchange of health information—at urgent care centers and other ambulatory providers across the United States. We find that setting is significantly associated with both health information exchange and referrals. Several organization-level variables and environment-level variables are also related to the propensity to coordinate care.
Hospital Readmission Risk for Patients with Self-Reported Hearing Loss and Communication TroubleChang, J. E., Weinstein, B., Chodosh, J., & Blustein, J. (n.d.). In Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Health reform and the changing safety net in the United StatesChokshi, D. A., Chang, J. E., & Wilson, R. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleNew England Journal of Medicine
Convenient ambulatory care-promise, pitfalls, and policyChang, J. E., Brundage, S. C., & Chokshi, D. A. (n.d.).
Journal titleNew England Journal of Medicine
Community health worker integration into the health care team accomplishes the triple aim in a patient centered medical homeFindley, S., Matos, S., Hicks, A., Chang, J., & Reich, D. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Ambulatory Care Management
Preventing early readmissionsChokshi, D. A., & Chang, J. E. (n.d.).
Journal titleJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Page(s)1344-1345AbstractResults In 42 trials, the tested interventions prevented early readmissions (pooled random-effects relative risk, 0.82 [95%CI, 0.73-0.91]; P < .001; I2 = 31%), a finding thatwas consistent across patient subgroups. Trials published before 2002 reported interventions thatwere 1.6 times more effective than those tested later (interaction P = .01). In exploratory subgroup analyses, interventions with many components (interaction P = .001), involving more individuals in care delivery (interaction P = .05), and supporting patient capacity for self-care (interaction P = .04)were 1.4, 1.3, and 1.3 times more effective than other interventions, respectively. A post hoc regression model showed incremental value in providing comprehensive, postdischarge support to patients and caregivers.Conclusions and Relevance Tested interventions are effective at reducing readmissions, but more effective interventions are complex and support patient capacity for self-care. Interventions tested more recently are less effective.Jamainternal Medicine Preventing 30-Day Hospital Readmissions: A Systematic Reviewand Meta-analysis of Randomized Trials Aaron L. Leppin, MD; Michael R. Gionfriddo, PharmD; Maya Kessler, MD; Juan Pablo Brito, MBBS; Frances S. Mair, MD; Katie Gallacher, MBChB; ZhenWang, PhD; Patricia J. Erwin, MLS; Tanya Sylvester, BS; Kasey Boehmer, BA; Henry H. Ting, MD, MBA; M. Hassan Murad, MD; Nathan D. Shippee, PhD; Victor M. Montori, MD.Importance Reducing early (<30 days) hospital readmissions is a policy priority aimed at improving health care quality. The cumulative complexity model conceptualizes patient context. It predicts that highly supportive discharge interventions will enhance patient capacity to enact burdensome self-care and avoid readmissions.Objective To synthesize the evidence of the efficacy of interventions to reduce early hospital readmissions and identify intervention features-including their impact on treatment burden and on patients' capacity to enact postdischarge self-care-that might explain their varying effects. DATA SOURCESWe searched PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, EBSCO CINAHL, and Scopus (1990 until April 1, 2013), contacted experts, and reviewed bibliographies.Study Selection Randomized trials that assessed the effect of interventions on all-cause or unplanned readmissions within 30 days of discharge in adult patients hospitalized for a medical or surgical cause for more than 24 hours and discharged to home.Data Extraction and Synthesis Reviewer pairs extracted trial characteristics and used an activity-based coding strategy to characterize the interventions; fidelity was confirmed with authors. Blinded to trial outcomes, reviewers noted the extent to which interventions placed additional work on patients after discharge or supported their capacity for self-care in accordance with the cumulative complexity model.Main Outcomes and Measures Relative risk of all-cause or unplanned readmission with or without out-of-hospital deaths at 30 days postdischarge.