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.

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.

Emergency Alert Systems

Any kind of emergency alert systems fall under the category of telecommunication systems and are thus NOT an allowable use of SHIP funds.


Books, manuals, and/or guides are an allowable use of SHIP funds IF they are supported by training. Books and manuals alone are NOT an allowable use of SHIP funds.

Pricing Guidebooks and Manuals

Books or manuals that are used for continuous reference of standard pricing guidelines are not an allowable use of SHIP Funds.

Library Fees and Services
PO Pre-Approval
Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Investment

Library fees and services that are used strictly for training access or material and not ongoing operational access can be an allowable use of SHIP funds but requires PO approval.

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.

Staff-Provider Communication Whiteboards
Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Investment

Whiteboards used in conjunction with training for quality improvement are an allowable use of SHIP funds.

NOTE: Apart from training, whiteboards are not an allowable cost.  

Example of an allowable use of funds: If hospitals are doing a training on efficient and effective rounding, and part of that training requires the use of a whiteboard for implementing the rounding process and improving the quality and efficiency of providers and staff. 

Staff Salary & Benefits
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.

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.