Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program Grant 2022

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Office of Rural Health

Date of this notice: December 22nd, 2020

Working Title of the funding program: Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program Grant

Purpose- description of the function of the program and the reason why it was created:
The Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP) is a federal grant program administered by the North Carolina Office of Rural Health (ORH) to support rural hospitals with 49 beds or fewer. Funding helps small, rural hospitals by assisting hospitals in participating in improvements in value and quality to health care such as:

  • Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Investment: Technical Assistance activities that facilitate quality reporting and improvement.
  • Accountable Care Organization (ACO) or Shared Savings Investment: Technical Assistance activities that support becoming or joining ACO, development or the basic tenets of ACOs or shared savings programs.
  • Payment Bundling (PB): Technical Assistance activities that improve hospital financial processes.

This grant will continue to assist the 31 SHIP eligible hospitals in improving both quality of care and operations by providing hospitals with focused quality and operational technical assistance. The grant funds will be awarded to an eligible organization (as defined in the eligibility section) to conduct the scope of work. The grantee will utilize these SHIP funds to:

  1. Ensure all SHIP hospitals implement and/or participate in approved activities.
  2. Work with North Carolina’s large health care hospital systems to provide education and financial analysis on the use of swing beds. 
  3. Provide training and facilitate communication to engage NC’s large health systems in the strategies and benefits of transferring patients to rural communities. 
  4. Provide cost savings and readmission penalty reduction analysis to the large health system hospitals to create the relative value of a Swing Bed Program for their rural hospitals.
  5. Conduct quarterly performance assessments tracking hospitals’ progress in achieving the agreed-upon deliverables.
  6. Track and report each participating hospital’s status. Report the successful completion of performance measures and achievements of target goals.
  7. Submit Annual Report of North Carolina hospitals that meet SHIP eligibility requirements.
  8. Convene small rural hospitals, at least once annually, to disseminate findings and projects. 
  9. Submit monthly expense reports that document technical assistance activities provided to each SHIP hospital.

The maximum total grant award cannot exceed $60,000.  Up to $45,000 for engagement of NC large health care systems in Swing Bed Program Development. Up to $15,000 for telehealth program development. All funding must be expended by May 31, 2021. 

Only one grant application per organization will be accepted for review. You must request a link to your application through the online survey tool by clicking on the following link: Survey Link

Questions regarding the application may be directed to

Funding Cycle:
Funding Period is January 15th, 2021 through May 31, 2021. Regardless of application or approval date, grant funds must be expended by May 31, 2021. Awards will depend on the availability of funds.

Any organization that is staffed to provide quality and operational technical assistance to both large healthcare symptoms and small rural hospitals is eligible to apply. All eligible applicants must submit a complete grant application to be considered for funding.

How to Apply:
Grant applications must be received electronically by the Office of Rural Health by the 5:00 PM deadline on January 5th, 2021. Only electronic applications will be accepted. Access to the electronic application is a two-step process:

  1. You must submit your organization name and contact information through the following link: Survey Link
  2. Once you submit your contact information in the link above, you will receive an email with a personalized link specific to your organization. The link in the e-mail will give you access to the electronic application. The application closes 5:00 PM on January 5th, 2021. 

Deadline for Submission:
Grant applications must be submitted electronically by 5:00 pm, January 5th, 2021.  Hard copies will not be accepted.  Applications must be submitted by the survey process in the 'How to Apply' section above.

How to Obtain Further Information:
Questions regarding the grant application may be directed to

Additional Resources:
SHIP RFA Annoucement Document
Budget Template
SHIP Application Instructions