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.

Outpatient Surveys
Unallowable

Costs associated with completing outpatient (i.e. ambulatory surgery, emergency department, medical practice, outpatient services) surveys do not qualify as a SHIP allowable investment.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
Unallowable

Conducting a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey for population health analysis does not qualify as an allowable investment as it isn’t training, equipment, or software in the ACO category, which covers population health. A population health analysis would however be allowable a Program activity.

Outpatient Surveys
Unallowable

Surveys completed for medical clinics, ambulatory services, emergency room, specialty clinics, home health,  and other outpatient services are NOT an allowable use of SHIP funds. This includes OAS-CAHPS and CG CAHPS.

Efficiency or Quality Improvement Training in Support of ACO or Shared Savings Related Initiatives
Allowable
Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

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.

Systems Performance Training in Support of ACO or Shared Savings Related Initiatives
Allowable
Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

Systems performance training, including adopting a framework approach to transition to value-based system planning, is an allowable investment.

EMS Crew Equipment
Unallowable

Supplies and equipment used by emergency medical services (EMS) staff or EMS volunteers such as a stethoscope, watch, blood pressure cuff, and pulse oximeter do not qualify as SHIP allowable investment.

If the hospital and/or hospital-owned ambulance unit has a formal community paramedics program (CPP), hardware/software can be purchased to support the CPP to reduce EMS and emergency department misuse and readmissions. However, the use of SHIP funding for general EMS equipment is not allowable.

Community Paramedicine Hardware/Software
Allowable
Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

If the hospital and/or hospital-owned ambulance unit has a formal Community Paramedic Program (CPP), hardware and software to support the CPP to reduce emergency medical services (EMS) and emergency department misuse and readmissions are allowable investments. However, the use of SHIP funding for general EMS equipment is not an allowable investment.

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.

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.