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Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP)

small rural hospital

The country’s small rural hospitals — the more than 1,600 hospitals with fewer than 50 staffed beds — serve as key health care access points for millions of Americans. They’re trusted community resources.

But these facilities also face challenges in the rapidly changing health care landscape, including challenges in participating in value-based payment programs and in care delivery.

The Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP), supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), annually provides states with funding to help their small rural hospitals meet value-based payment and care goals through investments in hardware, software, and training. SHIP funds, which are directed through each hospital’s State Office of Rural Health (SORH), can also be used by hospitals to become or join accountable care organizations; to participate in shared savings programs; and to purchase health information technology, equipment, and training to comply with quality improvement activities. 

The National Rural Health Resource Center’s SHIP Technical Assistance Team, which is supported through a cooperative agreement with FORHP, provides SORHs and their state’s rural hospitals with the education, tools, and grant guidance needed to navigate SHIP guidelines and reporting requirements.

For more information or for additional support, please contact the SHIP Technical Assistance Team at

For SHIP Coordinators

Here you can find documents and forms for SHIP reporting, applications, and FORHP Guidance.
This page comprises the best practice resources, webinars, and learning collaboratives for SHIP Coordinators.
Here you can find information on American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding, applications, and FORHP Guidance.

SHIP Technical Assistance Team

Chief Executive Officer
Director of Population Health
Program Manager
Program Specialist II
Program Specialist

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,100,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.