Cigna, CVS, Walmart, DaVita and Encompass return federal bailout funds

CMS automatically sent out the first slice of federal funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act based on historical Medicare fee-for-service reimbursement. Now, several companies are returning the relief aid. 

Cigna, CVS Health, DaVita, Encompass and Walmart are among the companies sending back federal grants they received under the CARES Act, which are meant to reimburse healthcare providers for expenses or lost revenues tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Business Insider. The companies are returning a total of nearly $574 million. 

CVS Health, which employs more than 10,000 nurses and provides healthcare at its MinuteClinics, said it is returning the $43.3 million it received. 

"We have made the decision to return the funds and forgo participation in subsequent disbursements," CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo wrote in a May 19 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "In doing so, we hope to help HHS provide additional support to other providers who are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic." 

Walmart, which provides healthcare services at some locations, returned $12.6 million in federal aid earlier this month. 

"Walmart did not request support from the Provider Relief Fund to get through this crisis," the company told Business Insider. "The fund is intended to help hospitals and frontline medical providers, so we quickly contacted the Department of Health and Human Services about the disbursement and returned the funds."

Cigna, a health insurer that owns businesses that provide healthcare services, also returned the funds it received. The company's business unit that provides pharmaceuticals to patients received $41 million in relief aid, according to Business Insider. 

DaVita, which provides dialysis services, returned $240 million in federal grants. During the company's first-quarter earnings call, CEO Javier Rodriguez said the funds should go to organizations that need the money to keep their doors open not to "help companies make their earnings target," according to Business Insider

Encompass, a provider of home healthcare, rehabilitation and hospice care, isn't accepting the $237 million in federal grants it received, according to the report. 


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