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.

Telehealth Network Fees

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.

Mobile Health and Telehealth Hardware/Software
Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

Training hardware or software that supports the application and implementation of telehealth and/or telemedicine is an allowable investment.

Telehealth Mobile Carts
Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

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. 

Patient iPad/Tablet

iPads, tablets, and other technology/hardware investments are not allowable for patient purposes.

Hospital Staff iPad/Tablet
PO Pre-Approval

iPads, tablets, and other technology/hardware investments may be allowable if they will be used by staff to support efficiencies.

Provider-Based Clinic Quality Measures Education/Training
Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Investment

Education/training for provider-based rural health clinic quality improvement reporting, including patient satisfaction survey scores, is allowable.

340B Drug Pricing Program Training
Payment Bundling (PB)

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.

Refrigerator or Refrigeration

Refrigerators used to keep and store medicines or medical supplies are not an allowable use of SHIP funds.

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, $1,009,121 (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.