Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has been instructed to stay quiet about the specifics of the cancelation of a nearly $200 million Medicaid contract.
That’s what State Inspector General Stephen Street told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday before a hearing on the Department of Health and Hospital’s budget for the next fiscal year got underway.
The Medicaid claims processing contract had been awarded to Maryland-based Client Network Services Inc., a company where DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein was vice president from 1995-1996. When the contract was awarded in 2011, critics complained the company low-balled the cost estimates and made incorrect assumptions to win the bid.
The Jindal administration scrapped that contract Friday just hours after news broke it was under investigation by a federal grand jury and the state attorney general's office.
CNSI, which was supposed to start processing claims in 2014, is challenging the termination of its contract.
Secretary Greenstein did not show up for his department’s budget hearing Tuesday. Appropriations Chairman Jim Fannin told the committee that Greenstein had phoned him personally to say wouldn’t be attending. But Fannin said it was still irresponsible for Greenstein not to be there.