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.
Costs or fees related to bank services that create efficiency, but are not presented as training, do not qualify as a SHIP Allowable Investment.
If training is provided to staff to increase efficiency or quality improvement in support of ACO or shared savings related initiatives, for example, revenue cycle management, this type of fee would qualify as a SHIP Allowable Investment.
ACO fees are an allowable investment under the ACO category, as long as the hospital identifies how they will define progress to align with the state office’s SHIP goals.
The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) process requires a fee at enrollment and then the rural health clinic implements changes by going through training that provides quality or efficiency improvement training in support of Value-Based Purchasing initiatives. This is an allowable investment. However, the application renewal fee each year would not be considered allowable.
Medical credentialing costs and fees do not qualify as a SHIP Allowable Investment as they are ongoing operational costs.
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.
CAHs should participate in Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP). Any activity to support process improvements that result in improved quality reporting or improved inpatient and outpatient measures for PPS acute care hospitals is allowable.
Any training to support coding and reimbursement, documentation, or documentation improvements that result in increased coding compliance are 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.
iPads/Tablets to be used for patient care surveys are not an allowable use of SHIP funds. In general, iPads and tablets to be used by patients and non-hospital staff are unallowable.
HIT hardware, software, and training are allowable uses of SHIP funds. Through SHIP, it would also be beneficial to include risk assessments and/or trainings associated with cybersecurity.