Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program

This program provides funds to federally designated rural hospitals as defined by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP). This is a grant opportunity to help small rural hospitals meet the costs of implementing data systems, comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) A, reduce medical errors, and support quality improvement.

How does the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) work?

Hospitals receive direct grant funds, ranging between $8,000 and $9,000, to use towards:

·        Improving data collection activities in order to facilitate reporting to Hospital Compare;

·        Maintaining accurate billing and coding systems;

·        Building accountability across the continuum of care and improving care transitions between ambulatory and acute, acute to upstream, and acute to stabilization facility;

·        Improving quality outcomes that focus on activities in support of quality improvement such as; reduction of medical errors, education and training in data collection, reporting, and benchmarking.


What is the eligibility criteria for SHIP grants?

·        49 available beds or less, as reported on the hospital's most recently filed  Medicare Cost Report,

·        located in a rural area (located outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or located in a rural census tract of a MSA as determined under the Goldsmith Modification), and

·        defined as a non-Federal, short-term, general acute care facility


Only two hospitals in Maryland qualify for this program:

Garrett Regional Medical Center in Garrett County

McCready Foundation, Inc. in Somerset County.

Funding for this program is under the State Office of Rural Health (SORH).

For more information, contact:

Temi Oshiyoye, M.P.H.                                                                 

Director, Maryland State Office of Rural Health

Phone: 410-767-4467