Wed-based retail store is 'new opportunity'

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

CLEVELAND – There are a lot of reasons people want inexpensive HME, says Joel Marx. 

The biggest: A lot of times, insurance won’t foot the bill, said Marx, owner of Medical Service Company, which has 15 locations in Ohio, West Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania.

“Either the item is not eligible for insurance coverage or people have such a high deductible, they end up paying, anyway,” he said. “They need a cost-effective way to purchase those items.”

To serve those customers, Marx in August launched a new company,, a retail HME website helmed by Chris Loeser. Products on the site range from bath safety and mobility products to accessories like hospital bed sheets and commode liners. 

Going to the net for its retail offerings means no overhead, allowing the site to offer price cuts Medical Service Company could not when offering retail products in its physical stores, said Marx.

 “This is a less expensive way to get products to our patients,” he said. “It also ties into what Medicare is doing by reducing our reimbursements—we need to do this for survival, but we also want to expand our reach and keep costs low.”

The site also offers a loyalty program called Care Express, which offers repeat customers a 10% discount.

Loeser plans to track customer searches and purchases, and make sure the site’s stock is meeting customer needs. 

“We want the site to be sustainable through the changing healthcare environment,” said Loeser, an e-commerce marketing specialist. “The site is going to continue to change and be as fluid as it needs to be.”