Small Rural Hospital Performance Improvement Program (SHIP)

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), provides Small Rural Hospital Performance Improvement Program funding to the MDPH State Office of Rural Health on behalf of eligible small rural hospitals in MA.  The purpose of the program is to help small rural hospitals of 49 acute care staffed beds or less prepare for reimbursement changes and alternative payment models and strategies supported by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Specifically, the program allows eligible hospitals to apply funds the following: 1) the purchase of equipment and/or training to meet value-based purchasing expectations, 2) joining or becoming an accountable care organization (ACO) or creating a shared savings program, 3) the purchase of health information technology equipment and/or training to comply with meaningful use, ICD-10 standards, and payment bundling. 

The State Office of Rural Health prepares and submits a single grant application to HRSA on behalf of all MA eligible hospitals. These hospitals typically receive between $8,000 - 10,000 each annually depending on available federal funding in a given year.  Hospitals are strongly encouraged to participate in specific group project opportunities offered as part of the MA SHIP program in order to maximize the impact of this funding. 


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