Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP)

The Office of Rural Health Policy's Small Rural Hospital Improvement (SHIP) Grant Program provides funding to small rural hospitals to help them do any or all of the following:

  1. pay for costs related to the implementation of PPS,
  2. comply with provisions of HIPAA, and
  3. reduce medical errors and support quality improvement.

To be eligible for these grants, a hospital must be:

  1. small is defined as 49 available beds or less, as reported on the hospital’s most recently filed Medicare Cost Report,
  2. rural is defined as located outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA); or located in a rural census tract of a MSA as determined under the Goldsmith Modification or the Rural Urban Commuting Areas, and
  3. hospital is defined as a non-Federal, short-term, general acute care facility. In addition, all designated Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are eligible, as well as hospitals with fewer than 50 beds located in an area designated by any State law or regulation as a rural area or as a rural hospital. There is no requirement for matching funds with this program.