A company with ties to state health Secretary Bruce Greenstein would not have been eligible for the lucrative Medicaid contract it is now in line to receive under the request for proposals originally set to go out.

Greenstein said Monday that the solicitation for firms to do the work was altered after he took the job of state health secretary in September.

“I wanted the most open, competitive bid process. We did not limit it,” Greenstein told the Senate Finance Committee.

The revelation came as state Sen. Karen Peterson, D-New Orleans, grilled Greenstein on the proposed contract with CNSI. The contract for Medicaid claims processing and information systems is an estimated $300 million, 10-year agreement.

Greenstein was vice president of health care for CNSI from June 2005 to September 2006, when he went to work for Microsoft. CNSI is a Gaithersburg, Md.-based firm with its technology development center in Chennai, India.

Peterson asked Greenstein if it was true that CNSI would not have qualified for the work before he arrived on the scene.

Greenstein replied that he did not want to limit “what will be a transformational contract,” which the state will have to use through state and federal health-care revamps.

Peterson asked if he was aware that CNSI would have not been eligible before request for proposal changes that he initiated.

“I’m aware,” Greenstein said. “Now that you mention it, I’m aware.”

“The competition was opened up for your former employer,” Peterson said.

Also Monday, Greenstein’s office released a stack of documents related to the contract award in response to a Senate and Governmental Affairs subpoena.