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story.lead_photo.caption In this Oct. 5, 2007, file photo, an American flag flies in front of the Walmart Stores Inc. headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. (AP Photo/April L. Brown, File)

Walmart Inc. returned $12.6 million it received from a federal fund that helps health care providers offset costs related to the pandemic crisis.

The Bentonville retailer sent the money back to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is distributing $50 billion from the Provider Relief Fund to providers based on Medicare reimbursements they received in 2019, according to the agency's website.

Walmart receives Medicare reimbursements because it provides some health care services. The retailer also has set up coronavirus testing sites across the U.S.

The company said in a statement Wednesday that it did not ask for any support from the Provider Relief Fund. "The fund is intended to help hospitals and front-line medical providers, so we quickly contacted the Department of Health and Human Services about the disbursement and returned the funds," Walmart said.

In a letter to the Health and Human Services Department, Walmart asked to be excluded "from any and all future funds disbursements" through the program.

The department said it began sending the payments April 10 by direct deposit. Many companies have returned the funds.

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