Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP)

Hospital Eligibility

Eligible small rural hospitals that are non-federal, short-term general acute care facilities that are located in a rural area of the U.S. and the territories, including faith-based hospitals. For the purpose of this program:

  • “small hospitals” is defined as 49 available beds or less, as reported on the hospital’s most recently filed Medicare Cost Report,
  • “rural” is defined as either located outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or located within a rural census tract of a MSA, as determined under the Goldsmith Modification or the Rural Urban Commuting Areas (RUCAs), and,
  • Eligible SHIP hospitals may be for-profit or not-for-profit. Tribally operated hospitals under Titles I and V of P.L. 93-638 are eligible to the extent that such hospitals meet the above criteria.


Utah is expecting to fund twenty-one rural hospitals during the Federal Fiscal Year 2013 (September 2013 through July 2014) to work in projects related to:

  • Value-Based Purchasing: MBQIP (Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program), HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare and Systems) Survey and education such as Lean Six Sigma trainings
  • Accountable Care Organizations/Share Saving
  • Payment Bundling/PPS

UTAH SHIP Responsibilities

  • Review and analyze the 21 small rural hospital applications to assure that proposed activities are consistent with ORHP’s expectations under SHIP.
  • Process 100% of SHIP approved rural hospital contracts within 90 days after receiving the Notice of Award from the Office of Grants Management.
  • Within 5 business days of receipt of request to change the scope of SHIP activities, review and consult with the ORHP and approve/deny proposed activities.
  • Within 5 business days of receiving SHIP hospitals’ final report, review to assure that the hospitals have met the goals of their SHIP, as well as the terms and conditions of their contract with the Utah Department of Health.
  • Verify that 100% of SHIP approved rural hospitals have complied with the three priority activities required by ORHP.
  • Make payment to each SHIP approved rural hospital within 21 business days after receiving final progress report and itemized financial report.
  • Promote and facilitate the establishment of SHIP networks among rural hospitals.
  • Evaluate Utah SHIP activities in areas related to improving the Utah SHIP program, progress on hospital activities, becoming an ACO, improving data collection, HCAHPS, MBQIP, and billing and coding.
  • Submit final progress reports of Utah SHIP approved rural hospitals per request of ORHP.
  • Hire consultants as needed to accomplish SHIP program activities related to the three priority activities and the establishment and/or support of a SHIP network.

Visit the federal government's SHIP website

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