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.
Efficiency and quality improvement processes including: Six Sigma, Lean, Plan-Do-Study-Act, and others that address the following VBP initiatives patient experience of care, clinical care processes and outcomes, patient safety, care management and discharge planning, reducing readmissions, antibiotic stewardship, and emergency preparedness are 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.
Trainings that improve processes through adoption of best practices and transition to value-based payment strategies such as financial and operational improvements are allowable investments.
Voice recognition system for dictation to support increased quality, efficiency, and/or coding is an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Alterations and renovations that do not qualify as construction to update laboratories or other key spaces for safer and more efficient COVID-19 testing.
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.
Books or manuals that are used for continuous reference of standard pricing guidelines are not an allowable use of SHIP Funds.
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.