With SHIP funds from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at HRSA, the Massachusetts State Office of Rural Health is able to assist small hospitals (less than 50 beds) in rural communities with paying for any or all of the following: 1) costs related to implementation of prospective payment systems, (2) compliance with provisions of HIPAA and 3) reduction of medical errors and quality improvement. Eligible hospitals submit an application to the State Office of Rural Health every year; the State Office of Rural Health prepares and submits a single grant application to HRSA on behalf of all Massachusetts eligible hospital. There are currently 10 eligible hospitals in Massachusetts that usually receive between $8,000 - 10,000 each annually depending on the federal grant award that year.

In State FY 2006, the SORH provided SHIP funds to all eligible small rural Massachusetts hospitals.

  • At 4 hospitals SHIP funds were used to support implementation of the new HIPAA security measures.
  • At 8 hospitals funds were used for quality initiatives. Several hospital projects involved technology advances focused on clinical telemedicine applications, pharmaceutical administration and management, physician order entry systems, electronic medical records, or health information systems. Other projects included improving patient registration processes and implementing best practices for rural stroke services and the care of patients with deep vein thrombosis.

This information is provided by the State Office of Rural Health within the Department of Public Health.