Q+A with Brian Lobley
tango’s Chief Executive Officer
October 2023 marks one year since Brian Lobley joined tango as our Chief Executive Officer. We sat down with Brian to reflect on his background in healthcare, his first year at tango and how he envisions the future of home care.
While this may be your first anniversary at tango, you spent almost 20 years working on the payor side of healthcare. How has the transition to tango changed your understanding of what value-based care means from a different part of the healthcare ecosystem?
Brian:In my nearly two decades working within the payor side of healthcare, I developed a deep appreciation for the intricate dynamics of value-based care and aligning stakeholder needs. I have been very fortunate to be involved in some very innovative value-based care models in Philadelphia, and the results we produced to enable better outcomes for members at a lower cost were meaningful, and in my opinion, critical to how we are all working to change the way US healthcare is delivered.
This experience has been invaluable in shaping my understanding of the work that tango is leading today. My transition to tango, which is leading the industry in driving value-based care arrangements across the post-acute continuum, has underscored the multi-faceted nature of value-based care and the importance of collaborative partnerships and alignment.
Today post-acute care, in particular, the home, is not fully enabled as a site of care for people, especially our Seniors in Medicare Advantage plans. The landscape is fragmented, there are many competing sites of service, and while the home is very often the patient’s preferred place to recover, it may not always be utilized, even when it’s a possibility. That’s where tango steps in - our mission is to enable quality care at home across the post-acute continuum.
Reflecting on this past year, what has been the most exciting moment or accomplishment with tango? What challenges do you anticipate as you look to next year?
Brian: I think our re-brand really encapsulates many of our key accomplishments this year as we pivot from being a company that was primarily focused on Home Health care to one that is able to drive and coordinate care across the post-acute continuum with a focus on enabling the home as a primary destination (when it makes clinical sense for the patient).
There are significant challenges in our industry. Home health agencies are facing tremendous labor pressure and there are not enough nurses and other care staff to meet the need. Care is also not being optimized for carriers serving Medicare Advantage members, where as much as 60% of home health referrals are going unstaffed. This means that patients discharged from the acute setting are not getting the critical care they need when they go home, which can lead to suboptimal outcomes such as unnecessary rehospitalization and emergency room visits.
This is why the tango model is so critical. Not only are we working hard to increase access for our members by being a preferred partner to home health agency providers, but our model focuses on working with patients while they are still in the hospital to get them placed with one of our high-quality providers. This ensures timely start of care and that care coordination services are provided during the recovery period to drive the best outcomes for our payors and their members.
We understand the challenges in our industry are multi-faceted, ranging from regulatory shifts to staffing shortages and increasing demand for home health services. Our distinctiveness lies in our agility and ability to adapt swiftly and work with all key stakeholders (payors, providers, patients) to refine solutions needed to respond to the evolving landscape. Our strength lies in our ability to transform obstacles into opportunities, and we are confident that tango can be a leader in changing the way post-acute and home care is enabled in this country. I’m also really proud of our team and their unyielding focus in helping to position tango to address the unique challenges that are facing the home health care industry.
What does the company name, tango, mean to you?
Brian: Just like in healthcare, the tango is an intricate dance that requires collaboration to be not just successful, but to produce beautiful “outcomes”. The dance’s beauty emerges as two partners connect, conveying emotion and connectedness through their deep attunement to one another. The ‘tango’, like healthcare, encapsulates the essence of how these dancers are working together - communication, adaptability, creativity, innovation, practice, mastery, leadership, and performance.
When seeking a brand to encapsulate this synergy, tango emerged as the fitting choice. Just as the dance requires two partners, our work in the post-acute care ecosystem relies on collaboration between us, payer partners, and providers to ensure patients access high-quality, cost-effective care. tango symbolizes this partnership, reflecting our commitment to working harmoniously to enable better care for patients within this healthcare landscape.
Looking to the future of home care, how you would like to see tango, as well as the home health care industry, innovate?
Brian: tango wants to ensure care the home can be accessible and available for members. Growth in the popularity of care at home is only going to increase as more and more “provider” services move into the home. We need to make sure the supply can meet the demand, the home is optimized as a site of care, and that the value generated from providing care at home is appropriately shared with the providers who are helping us drive better care for our patients.