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Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP)

We fund states through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP). This helps rural hospitals with 49 or fewer beds.

How do hospitals use funds?

Hospitals use SHIP funds to improve operations. This includes hardware, software, and training. Funding varies by program and state.

How many hospitals does SHIP serve?

The program serves about 1,600 small, rural hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) across the United States. 

What does SHIP help these hospitals do?

  • Improve how to collect data for reports
  • Help boost quality outcomes
  • Make everyone accountable across the continuum of care
  • Maintain accurate Prospective Payment System (PPS) billing and coding

How has SHIP helped rural hospitals in 2020?

  • About 60% of SHIP funds went towards improving data collection around quality measures.
  • Requests to improve efficiency and quality training increased by over 50%.
  • Requests for pharmacy consults increased by about 40%.

How can my hospital qualify?

To qualify for SHIP funds, your hospital must:  

  • Be an acute care hospital
  • Have 49 beds or fewer
  • Be located in a rural area
  • Be non-federal

How can my hospital participate?

Contact your State Office of Rural Health. HRSA Exit Disclaimer They can let you know if you qualify, answer questions, and help you to apply.

Can my hospital apply for other programs?

If you’re a CAH, check out our Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex).

How do State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) carry out SHIP?

State Offices of Rural Health receive funding for SHIP. Each SORH coordinates activities to support hospitals through SHIP.

Contact Us

Reach out to the Project Officer in your state or contact us:
Jeanene Meyers, MPH
Email: JMeyers@hrsa.gov
Phone: 301-443-2482

Date Last Reviewed:  November 2021