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.

Architecture Design or Drafting Consulting Fees
Unallowable

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
Allowable
Payment Bundling (PB)

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.

Travel Expenses for Hospitals
Unallowable

Expenses incurred by hospital staff to travel to meetings or training such as mileage, food, per diem, lodging, and airfare do not qualify as a SHIP allowable investment.

Event Reporting
Unallowable

Reporting (prior, ongoing, or post-event) completed to manage attendees, staff, or volunteers and event operations is not an allowable use of SHIP funds.

Screening Staff (for COVID-19)
Allowable
SHIP ARP COVID-19 Testing & Mitigation

Cost of paying screeners placed at facility entrance doors to protect patients and employees and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Courier Staff (for COVID-19)
Allowable
SHIP ARP COVID-19 Testing & Mitigation

Costs associated with staff couriering COVID-19 tests to a laboratory. 

Digital Meeting Technology (Software)
Allowable
SHIP ARP COVID-19 Testing & Mitigation

Digital meeting technology software purchases to conduct digital/virtual meetings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by maintaining physical distancing and reducing facility traffic. 

Staff Salary & Benefits
Unallowable
SHIP ARP COVID-19 Testing & Mitigation

Costs associated with increasing staff salaries, recruitment, retention, bonuses, incentives, or benefits such as hazard pay, employee childcare, housing allowances, travel allowances (not associated with COVID-19 courier services), meals, snacks, or other incentive benefits. See Screening Staff, Testing Staff, Courier Staff, or Travel Nurse for more information.

Testing Staff (for COVID-19)
Allowable
SHIP ARP COVID-19 Testing & Mitigation

Costs associated with staff time spent on COVID-19 testing. 

Travel Nurse (for COVID-19)
PO Pre-Approval
SHIP ARP COVID-19 Testing & Mitigation

Costs associated with hiring, retaining, or relocating travel nurses or travel nurse services.

Employee Burnout and Mental Health (for COVID-19)
PO Pre-Approval

Costs associated with designing and implementing employee burnout/mental health strategies.

Provider-Based Clinic Quality Measures Education/Training
Allowable
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
Allowable
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.

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.