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A Lifeline for Rural Texas Hospitals Comes With Strings AttachedTed Matthews couldn’t have imagined a few months ago that today he’d be using an empty patient room at Anson General Hospital as his bedroom. He and his wife were enjoying a quiet retirement in Waco when he got a call last summer about the hospital’s grim prognosis. Its CEO was taking a position elsewhere as it faced rising operating costs and declining patient numbers. It might soon be forced to close.In the nineties and early aughts, Matthews and his wife had raised their son in Anson, home to 2,300 residents about 25 miles north of Abilene. He’d worked then as an administrator at Anson General, and even after he’d moved on to running Eastland Memorial, eighty miles to the east, he continued to feel…

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