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SHIP Program

The Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP) is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). Section 1820(g)(3) of the Social Security Act (SSA) authorizes SHIP to assist eligible hospitals in meeting the costs of implementing data system requirements established under the Medicare Program, including using funds to assist hospitals in participating in improvements in value and quality to health care such as:

Eligible small rural hospitals include hospitals with 49 available beds or less. These small rural, non-federal hospitals provide short-term, general acute care to their communities. They may be for-profit, not-for-profit or tribal organizations. Critical access hospitals are eligible for the program. Currently, there are 41 of Alabama’s small rural hospitals participating in the SHIP Grant Program.

The SHIP Grant Program 

The SHIP Grant Program is administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) through the State Office of Rural Health (SORH) and a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Hospital Association (AlaHA). Representatives from each form the Alabama SHIP Grant Oversight Committee, which provides direction to the program. Alabama SORH is the official grantee and serves as the fiscal intermediary for all participating hospitals. The SORH solicits applications from eligible hospitals each year and submits a grant application to FORHP on behalf of all hospital applicants in the state.

Eligible hospital participants must fully implement and publicly report to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) to Hospital Compare

Participating hospitals must also implement International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) Coding Systems. The program supports eligible hospitals to achieve these HCAHPS and ICD-10 goals.

SHIP Grant Funding

SHIP Grant Funding is used to meet value-based payment and care objectives for participating hospitals' respective organizations, through purchases of hardware, software, and training. SHIP also enables small rural hospitals: to become or join accountable care organizations (ACOs); to participate in shared savings programs; and purchase health information technology (hardware and software), equipment, and/or training to comply with quality improvement activities, such as advancing patient care information, promoting interoperability, and payment bundling. Cohort /Collaborative Project Funding is also encouraged to increase the purchasing power of participating hospitals.   

Any additional questions or technical assistance regarding Alabama SHIP Grant Program should be directed to FLEX/SHIP Program Manager, Stanley Woodson via email or (334) 206-5441.

Page last updated: April 8, 2024