COLUMBUS: A central Ohio judge has blocked the state from moving forward with tentative Medicaid contracts it awarded to five managed-care organizations.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Sheward on Tuesday ordered the contract process halted for now, at the request of Aetna Better Health of Ohio.

Aetna is suing the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services because state officials had awarded the company a contract in April and then revoked the decision earlier this month.

Officials dropped Aetna and another organization and picked two other plans after reviewing how each application was scored. Aetna wants its contract reinstated.

At stake is billions of dollars in work with the tax-funded health care program.

A spokesman says Job and Family Services won’t comment on pending litigation.