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Calif. misses millions in federal money for inmates

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A study is blaming bureaucratic problems for California's failure to claim millions of dollars in federal reimbursements for sick prison inmates.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said in a report Tuesday that California is missing out on Medicaid money because a court-appointed receiver has not signed agreements with every county.

That has left the state unable to claim Medicaid reimbursements for about 30 percent of its inmates, many of whom come from rural counties.

The state also is failing to process about two-thirds of inmates' claims because of software and staffing problems.

The report says the state could be claiming nearly $70 million from the federal government by next year if the problems are fixed. Receiver's office spokeswoman Joyce Hayhoe says the office is working to improve the system.

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