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.
Hand sinks and hand wash stations, equipment, or installation of sinks do not qualify as a SHIP allowable investment.
These items are part of a hospital’s operational costs and are not clearly linked with the purpose and intent of the SHIP Program.
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.
Stethoscopes that are manual, Bluetooth enabled, or telehealth purposed are not an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Medical ventilation hoods that provide for the dissipation of fumes, gases, smoke, or other harmful materials from a designated area are not an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Addition of automated doors, sinks, toilets, soap dispensers, etc. for the purpose of COVID-19 mitigation.
Laboratory supplies and equipment for COVID-19 testing.
Portable equipment (such as a portable x-ray machine) that is used to prevent patients from being moved throughout a facility and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Sanitation and cleaning equipment (including disinfectant robots) to be used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Also includes ultraviolet sanitation devices.
Upgrading or expanding for telemetry equipment as part of a larger COVID-19 mitigation strategy.
Costs associated with purchasing, maintaining, or operating a GlideScope™ or other similar equipment which allows for video laryngoscope (considered direct patient care).
Costs associated with the purchase, maintenance, or usage of communication equipment including 2-way radios, electronic messaging boards for COVID-19 testing and mitigation, and video streaming equipment.
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.
Training, hardware, and software that supports remote pharmacy services are allowable.
Last Updated 12/10/2021
Educational training hardware and software to support the development and implementation of a disease registry for care coordination is allowable.
Many programs that were previously single purchase software are now cloud-based computer programs and the fee allows sharing with other providers. Language supporting this can be found at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Please see ACO section C for additional resources.
Software and training for analysis of population health needs by chronic disease, geographic location, or analysis of social determinants of health in improving health outcomes and care management programs are allowable.
Training hardware or software that supports the application and implementation of telehealth and/or telemedicine is an allowable investment.
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.
Health Information Technology (HIT) Training for Value and ACOs is an allowable investment. SHIP covers hardware, software, and training; therefore, it would be beneficial to include risk assessments and/or training associated with cybersecurity. These are allowable investments.
Any training that updates and computerizes hospital policies and procedures, assessment and maintenance of ICD-10, and hardware/software investments that improve quality, efficiencies, and coding are allowable investments.
After hours pharmacy services software apps that help support remote pharmacy services are an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Note: Pharmacist services or medications are not allowable
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.
Any training to support coding and reimbursement, documentation, or documentation improvements that result in increased coding compliance are allowable.
Costs associated with the permanent installation of internet hardware are not an allowable use of SHIP funds.
Alterations and renovations that do not qualify as construction to create isolation areas for potential COVID-19 patients
Alterations and renovations that do not qualify as construction to update surfaces to more sanitary materials to mitigate COVID-19
Alterations and renovations that do not qualify as construction to update laboratories or other key spaces for safer and more efficient COVID-19 testing.
Creating negative pressure spaces within common spaces (such as waiting rooms and bathrooms), or in rooms to treat COVID-19 positive patients.
Purchasing and installing HVAC and associated expenses to improve COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Purchasing and installing ionized filtration systems for HVAC units to improve COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Construction costs, including, but are not necessarily limited to permanent building additions, new permanent buildings, permanent building expansions, modular buildings (and installations), increasing the footprint of the facility, significant new ground disturbance, and projects with a total cost of $500,000 or more.
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.