Rules & Eligibility

Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems Program – Approach to Designee Vetting

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is proud to recognize hospitals and health systems that demonstrate a commitment to the cardiovascular health of the population and communities they serve. The following vetting process is designed to ensure that recognized clinical entities are free from issues that might otherwise distract from the messages of the Million Hearts® initiatives.

Independent hospitals, health systems, and the individual hospitals within a health system that are applying for recognition must attest to having neither sanctions or current investigations for serious institutional misconduct nor a record of serious infractions within the last 3 years.

Infractions that could potentially preclude participation include, but are not limited to, convictions or pending investigations of criminal or health care offenses such as fraud; theft or other financial misconduct; patient abuse or neglect, such as patient dumping; and/or an ongoing pattern of noncompliance.

Health systems with multiple hospitals that are applying for a system-wide recognition must attest that all individual entities meet these criteria or can show a defined internal corrective process that has been initiated to address any identified issues at the time of submission.

CDC and its partners may use the following resources to confirm this attestation: : Statements of Deficiency Citations

  • Hospitals included in the submission must disclose any immediate jeopardy citation within the past 3 years, which will be reviewed for potential disqualification.
  • Additionally, condition-level noncompliance within the past year and/or those entities with a history of serious or repeated condition-level citations will be reviewed for potential disqualification. Check QCOR for “Deficiency Count.”

Office of the Inspector General

  • Hospitals included in the submission should not have been accused of patient dumping, have a Corporate Integrity Agreement, or have other serious issues within the last 3 years.

Hospital Compare

  • Hospitals included in the submission should not have a pattern of 1- or 2-star ratings in Medicare’s Hospital Compare system.

Media Coverage

  • Hospitals included in the submission should not have significant media coverage within the last 3 years for inappropriate practices that could reflect poorly on CMS and CDC.


To be eligible for participating in the Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition Program, the applicant:

  1. Shall have completed the application form in its entirety to participate in the competition under the rules developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/CDC.
  2. Must have a data management system (electronic or paper) that allows CDC or their contractor to verify data submitted.
  3. May not be a federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.
  4. Must not work on their application during assigned duty hours if they are an HHS employee.
  5. Shall not be an employee of or contractor at/within CDC.

By participating in this recognition program, the applicant agrees to assume any and all risks related to participating.

Applicants also agree to waive claims against the federal government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, including claims for injury; death; damage; or loss of property, money, or profits, and including those risks caused by negligence or other causes.

Applicants agree to protect the federal government against third-party claims for damages arising from or related to recognition program activities.

No cash prize will be awarded. Designees will receive national recognition.

Compliance with Rules

Applicants must comply with the eligibility rules. Being awarded the Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems designation is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements herein.

Contacting Applicants

Recognized systems will be notified by either telephone or email of their designation status.

General Conditions

HHS/CDC reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition program, or any part of it, for any reason, at HHS/CDC’s sole discretion. Participation in this program constitutes an applicant’s full and unconditional agreement to abide by this program’s eligibility rules.

Page last reviewed: January 28, 2021