PHOENIX — A judge is examining whether the state’s inmate-care provider denied care to avoid paying a fine. The hearing Tuesday follows a lawsuit settlement that challenged the quality of health care in Arizona’s prisons.

The hearing stems from an email by a Corizon Health employee who asked a doctor to cancel infection-disease consultations for an inmate because the company didn’t have a provider to send him to.

U.S. Magistrate David Duncan has said the comments looked like an end-run around efforts to ensure the state is making the improvements it promised when it settled the lawsuit.

Another hearing is scheduled Wednesday over whether Corrections Director Charles Ryan should be held in civil contempt of court for repeatedly falling short in improving health care for prisoners.