InnovAge can once again accept new PACE clients in Denver area

A Denver-based elder care provider can once again accept new clients after state and federal officials determined it had fixed problems that led to poor care.

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had refused to pay for new clients to get care from InnovAge since December 2021.

On Monday, the agencies announced InnovAge had resolved at least some of the alleged problems to their satisfaction, though the company will still have to undergo an audit in 2024.

InnovAge runs the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, in the Denver area and in Larimer, Weld and Pueblo counties. PACE provides wraparound support services to allow people 55 and older who would qualify for nursing home care to remain in their homes as long as possible.

Former InnovAge employees said the company pursued a strategy of rapid growth, which led to some clients not getting basic care, such as help getting out of bed. The suspension created problems for families who were counting on the PACE program to help their loved ones avoid going into a nursing home, because each geographic area has only one provider.

Kim Bimstefer, executive director of the state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, said InnovAge made changes that have improved the care it offers clients.

“InnovAge has made meaningful improvements in leadership, quality of care focus, staffing, procedures, operational controls and outcomes,” she said in a news release. “We appreciate the collaborative approach pursued by InnovAge’s new leadership to address the audit concerns identified, and we will continue to carefully monitor InnovAge’s performance and operations going forward to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals in their care.”

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