Fuller Medical opens in Alabama

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Monday, April 23, 2018

GADSDEN, Ala. – While the prospect of opening a complex rehab business in rural Alabama might scare off even the most seasoned of industry veterans, Carter Fuller, who recently opened Fuller Medical Solutions, says that’s his specialty.

Situated in a non-bid market about 90 miles southwest of Chattanooga, Tenn., the six-employee operation offers complex rehab and mobility related products, and boasts a 1,300-square-foot retail showroom.

“I’ve been working in the rural markets and smaller towns all my life,” said Fuller, who got his start in the industry more than 20 years ago helping his father sell mobility products out of an attic in Ringgold, Ga. “That’s what I love to do.”

While competitive bidding may be less of an issue for a complex rehab provider in a non-bid market, Fuller says reimbursement cuts have far-reaching effects. There are also increased costs involved with servicing a rural area. But there are things providers can do to strengthen their business, like narrowing down their product offerings and doing one thing really well, he says.

As for competition from national providers like National Seating & Mobility and Numotion, Fuller says they have their place, “but there’s room for all of us.”

“I’m a relationship person and when you build solid relationships in these small towns, they trust you and you become part of that community,” he said. “That’s what separates you from the nationals.”

Fuller’s choice of medium to communicate with his customer? Facebook.

“You can interact with your customer base at their level because everybody’s on Facebook now,” he said. “It’s more personal and fits in with what we're doing, which is being part of the rural market community.”

Once Fuller Home Medical has a solid footing in the community, Fuller hopes to grow the company into Tennessee and Georgia, which like rural Alabama, is underserved, but for a different reason: competitive bidding.

“I hear from a lot of folks and clinicians in Chattanooga,” he said. “They’re struggling with the bid suppliers there and can’t get what they need. It’s consolidation-related and bid-related, and it’s a sad situation.”