HLM: How do you burnish the Lahey brand with healthcare customers?
Nesto: There is pretty intense loyalty to community hospitals in this area. Both Beverly and Lahey have been in place for more than 100 years so they have a strong community identity. We have added to that. We haven't diluted it. We haven't changed the names of these hospitals. They are members of Lahey Health. They are marketing that they can do even more for their communities now since the Lahey merger. That has been our message.
You get some momentum in the community and the word travels fast that the hospitals are healthy. Most hospitals are announcing layoffs right now. When the public hears that a hospital is closing beds and laying people off, that doesn't serve people's confidence. We have not done that. We are busy. We are hiring people. That also is a positive statement to patients.
HLM: Where do you see Lahey in five years?
Nesto: We don't know where we are going to be next week with the movement of the players in this market. But our goal is to have four or five community hospitals within 50 miles of Lahey so that we can expand our current modus operandi. We also plan to develop a much bigger primary care base outside of the networks of those hospitals.
That may require us to go into southern New Hampshire or other places. Ultimately, the goal is to be big enough to have our own insurance product. When you have all of the resources in-house you can reinvest what you've made from giving better care. You can take whatever revenue you generate and you are responsible for your own bottom line. You can reinvest it in the system.