Walmart returns relief aid meant for front-line healthcare providers

Walmart has returned the $12.6 million it received from the $100 billion provider relief fund created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, according to Business Insider

The retail giant said it did not request the funds, which were meant to reimburse healthcare providers for expenses or lost revenues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"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."

Walmart, which provides healthcare services at some locations, received the funds when HHS sent out the first $30 billion of aid in April. HHS distributed the grants automatically based on historical share of Medicare revenue. 

In an April 23 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Walmart asked how to set up a refund and said it did not want any additional grants set aside for healthcare providers. 

An HHS official confirmed several healthcare providers returned funds they received from the provider relief fund. The agency has not released the names of those organizations, according to Business Insider

More articles on healthcare finance:
How much federal COVID-19 aid are hospitals getting? A state-by-state analysis
US hospitals losing $1.4B in revenue per day
HHS doling out $22B to COVID-19 hotspots, rural hospitals

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