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 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.
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.
Reporting (prior, ongoing, or post-event) completed to manage attendees, staff, or volunteers and event operations is not an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Cost of paying screeners placed at facility entrance doors to protect patients and employees and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Costs associated with staff couriering COVID-19 tests to a laboratory.
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.
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.
Costs associated with staff time spent on COVID-19 testing.
Costs associated with hiring, retaining, or relocating travel nurses or travel nurse services.
Costs associated with designing and implementing employee burnout/mental health strategies.
Travel and lodging fees for contractors to get to a SHIP training can be covered. The hospital or network should request an invoice with all related training fees (including time, travel, and lodging) bundled as one single deliverable.
NOTE: SHIP Guidance doesn't approve travel for hospitals and state offices.
Costs associated with the purchase, maintenance, or operation of any hospital vehicle.
Education/training for provider-based rural health clinic quality improvement reporting, including patient satisfaction survey scores, is allowable.
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 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.
Costs for testing, including procuring, providing, or processing COVID-19 tests (including at-home testing kits).