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.
State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs) need to provide justification of how telehealth network fits or aligns with SHIP purpose and intent. Telemedicine provider salaries, such as a telepsychiatry consult, do not qualify as a SHIP allowable investment.
Training hardware or software that supports the application and implementation of telehealth and/or telemedicine is an allowable investment.
Carts used to support the application and implementation of telehealth that are used by hospital staff to improve operational efficiencies are an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Stethoscopes that are manual, Bluetooth enabled, or telehealth purposed are not an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Payment to contractors for Price Transparency compliance in review and/or update of charges does not qualify as a SHIP allowable investment.
Training on revenue cycle management to improve processes that provide clear information about charges and costs including topics such as Chargemasters and price transparency is an allowable investment.
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.
Education/training for provider-based rural health clinic quality improvement reporting, including patient satisfaction survey scores, is allowable.
Quality improvement training such as the IHI Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA), Root Cause Analysis (RCA), TeamSTEPPS, Lean Process planning, Community Care Coordination and Chronic Care Management, CMS Abstraction & Reporting Tool, and other efficiency and quality improvement trainings are allowable investments.
Systems performance training, including adopting a framework approach to transition to value-based system planning, is an 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.
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.