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Inspector general investigates Virginia Medicaid contract

FILE - In this Monday Feb. 11, 2019 file photo Virginia State Sen. Stephen Newman, R-Bedford, explains a tax bill to the Senate during the Senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Virginia’s inspector general is investigating a contract worth up to $1.5 million that the state’s Medicaid office awarded to a company owned by a former U.S. government employee who helped oversee federal oversight of the state. Newman, Republican chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, said lawmakers are concerned about the contract and are closely monitoring the investigation. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, file)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s inspector general is investigating a contract worth up to $1.5 million that the state’s Medicaid office awarded to a company owned by a former U.S. government employee who helped oversee federal oversight of the state.

The Department of Medical Assistance Services said earlier this week that it asked for the investigation to “ensure full transparency.” The agency did not say what prompted the request, though The Associated Press and lawmakers have made inquiries about the contract in recent weeks.

Medicaid is a government funded health care program for the poor whose costs are split between federal and state governments. Virginia has been the subject of multiple deferrals and disallowances in recent years.

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