Provider hopes to be unique resource

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Friday, December 20, 2013

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Provider Bernie Lambrese may be jumping into retail with a web-based national company, but he expects some of his customers to come from closer to home.

 “We get a lot of requests from patients who need things insurance won’t pay for, or they wanted to buy something that was good quality when what insurance will pay for is not acceptable,” said Lambrese, owner of Care Resource, which has offered home infusion and home health services in southern New England since 2008.

To fulfill those requests for cash products, Lambrese in December launched web-based Life Resource Medical Supply, a sister company to Care Resource, at www.liferesourcemedical.com. The site offers more than 7,500 retail products like bath safety, pain management and wound care supplies.

Setting up an online company rather than a brick-and-mortar location or incorporating it into Care Resource, made more sense, says Justin Racine, director of customer experience at Life Resource.

“We still can and are servicing the local market through our marketing efforts via the website and employees,” said Racine. “We went the online route because, initially for the business, having distribution centers nationally made much more sense: Our website allows us to be everywhere.”

Two major challenges providers face selling HME online: making sure customers get the right products and fighting price wars with other online retailers. 

Life Resource addresses the former by categorizing products by condition and diagnosis to help customers access all of their options.

As for pricing, the provider hopes its unique and comprehensive selection will convince customers to visit Life Resource instead of shopping around.

“A lot of people price shop on Amazon or eBay, and we’d never be able to compete with someone selling products from their basement,” said Racine. “We’re going to offer innovative products you may not be able to find anywhere else.”

Among them: an ER Card personal health record card that allows patients to store their medical records on a small card to have on hand for doctor visits.