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.
Hand sinks and hand wash stations, equipment, or installation of sinks do not qualify as a SHIP allowable investment.
These items are part of a hospital’s operational costs and are not clearly linked with the purpose and intent of the SHIP Program.
Supplies and equipment used by emergency medical services (EMS) staff or EMS volunteers such as a stethoscope, watch, blood pressure cuff, and pulse oximeter do not qualify as SHIP allowable investment.
If the hospital and/or hospital-owned ambulance unit has a formal community paramedics program (CPP), hardware/software can be purchased to support the CPP to reduce EMS and emergency department misuse and readmissions. However, the use of SHIP funding for general EMS equipment is not allowable.
Stethoscopes that are manual, Bluetooth enabled, or telehealth purposed are not an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Medical ventilation hoods that provide for the dissipation of fumes, gases, smoke, or other harmful materials from a designated area are not an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Addition of automated doors, sinks, toilets, soap dispensers, etc. for the purpose of COVID-19 mitigation.
Laboratory supplies and equipment for COVID-19 testing.
Portable equipment (such as a portable x-ray machine) that is used to prevent patients from being moved throughout a facility and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Sanitation and cleaning equipment (including disinfectant robots) to be used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Also includes ultraviolet sanitation devices.
Upgrading or expanding for telemetry equipment as part of a larger COVID-19 mitigation strategy.
Costs associated with purchasing, maintaining, or operating a GlideScope™ or other similar equipment which allows for video laryngoscope (considered direct patient care).
Costs associated with the purchase, maintenance, or usage of communication equipment including 2-way radios, electronic messaging boards for COVID-19 testing and mitigation, and video streaming equipment.
Unused SHIP funds cannot be transferred to another participating hospital.
Education/training for provider-based rural health clinic quality improvement reporting, including patient satisfaction survey scores, is allowable.
Trainings that improve processes through adoption of best practices and transition to value-based payment strategies such as financial and operational improvements are allowable investments.
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.