Allowable Investments Search Tool
In general, SHIP allowable investments include activities to assist small rural hospitals with their quality improvement efforts and with their adaptation to changing payment systems through investments in hardware, software and related trainings. This includes aiding with value and quality improvement.
Unallowable investments include, but are not limited to, travel costs, hospital services, hospital staff salaries, or general supplies. Hospitals should contact their State Office of Rural Health (SORH) with questions regarding the appropriateness or fit of a certain activity or hardware/software purchase. For additional clarifications, refer to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
This tool classifies a number of example investment activities as Allowable, Unallowable, or PO Pre-Approval. This is not a comprehensive list. It is only intended to provide examples of allowable SHIP activities.
Voice recognition system for dictation to support increased quality, efficiency, and/or coding is an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Architecture design and/or drafting consulting costs or fees do not qualify as a SHIP Allowable Investment. Consulting fees of any kind are not allowable unless they are part of education and training.
Hospital pricing transparency training, software, and hardware are allowable uses of SHIP funds.
Please note: Pricing transparency subscription fees can be covered under SHIP for the first year, but SHIP funds should not be used to cover a hospital’s operational cost year after year. Regarding using funds to pay for consultant or vendor to build a price transparency software, this is NOT allowable. SHIP funds can cover for price transparency training of staff for any software or website done by a consultant, but they cannot cover website development time.
Costs or fees related to bank services that create efficiency, but are not presented as training, do not qualify as a SHIP Allowable Investment.
If training is provided to staff to increase efficiency or quality improvement in support of ACO or shared savings related initiatives, for example, revenue cycle management, this type of fee would qualify as a SHIP Allowable Investment.
ACO fees are an allowable investment under the ACO category, as long as the hospital identifies how they will define progress to align with the state office’s SHIP goals.
The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) process requires a fee at enrollment and then the rural health clinic implements changes by going through training that provides quality or efficiency improvement training in support of Value-Based Purchasing initiatives. This is an allowable investment. However, the application renewal fee each year would not be considered allowable.
Medical credentialing costs and fees do not qualify as a SHIP Allowable Investment as they are ongoing operational costs.
Library fees and services that are used strictly for training access or material and not ongoing operational access can be an allowable use of SHIP funds but requires PO approval.
Education/training for provider-based rural health clinic quality improvement reporting, including patient satisfaction survey scores, is allowable.
A 340B Drug Pricing Program training intended to increase efficiency or quality improvement in support of Prospective Bundling and Prospective Payment Systems initiatives is an allowable investment.
Travel and lodging fees for contractors to get to a SHIP training can be covered. The hospital or network should request an invoice with all related training fees (including time, travel, and lodging) bundled as one single deliverable.
NOTE: SHIP Guidance doesn't approve travel for hospitals and state offices.