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.

Patient Room Supplies

Supplies and equipment for patient rooms such as telephone, TV, and speakers, to improve satisfaction (HCAHPS) scores, do not qualify as a SHIP allowable investment.

Blood Pressure Cuffs/Oxygen Monitors

Blood Pressure Cuffs/Oxygen Monitors are supplies and not an allowable use of SHIP funds nor aligned with the purpose of SHIP funds.

Printers, Labels, Printer Wiring, Printer Ink and Toner

Printers and/or printing supplies and hardware that are not explicitly being used to promote remote services are not an allowable use of SHIP funds.

Refrigerator or Refrigeration

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

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.

ICD-10 Software
Payment Bundling (PB)

Any training that updates and computerizes hospital policies and procedures, assessment and maintenance of ICD-10, and hardware/software investments that improve quality, efficiencies, and coding are allowable investments.

ICD-10 Training
Payment Bundling (PB)

Any training to support coding and reimbursement, documentation, or documentation improvements that result in increased coding compliance are 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.

Mobile Language Line Workstation for Interpretation Services
PO Pre-Approval
Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

Mobile language line workstations, iPads, and tablets can potentially be allowable SHIP investments if used by hospital staff to support operational efficiency and increase equitable patient satisfaction.

Note: These investments require Project Officer pre-approval. If a hospital is interested in this investment, the State SHIP coordinator should email their project officer with justification of how these services will support operational efficiency and increase equitable patient satisfaction.

Tablets/iPads for In House Patient Care Surveys

iPads/Tablets to be used for patient care surveys are not an allowable use of SHIP funds. In general, iPads and tablets to be used by patients and non-hospital staff are unallowable.

iPads and Tablets
Costs associated with purchasing iPads, tablets, and mobile devices (including cell phones) are unallowable.   Patients and staff use iPads and tablets for registration, surveys, forms, videos, instructional videos, entertainment, etc. are unallowable.   Updated May 2022

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, $1,560,000 (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.