Investors dole out $20 million for the latest offering from Hud Connery, the former COO of HealthTrust. Years before the idea catches on nationwide, Connery proposes “hospitals without beds” — high-tech, 24-hour clinics providing emergency care and outpatient surgery to small towns without emergency rooms.

The costs of implementation outweigh the demand, however, and the firm files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sept. 4, 1998.

The next year, Connery goes on to found the hospital company Essent Healthcare.