Advocacy Alert: InnovAge conversion hearing, Dec. 17

Advocacy Alert: InnovAge conversion hearing, Dec. 17

Concerned Coloradans will have a chance to weigh in on a proposal that affects thousands of elderly and disabled Coloradans and hundreds of millions of dollars in community assets.

Public testimony on the proposed InnovAge nonprofit conversion case will be heard on Dec. 17, 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first floor of the Ralph L. Carr Justice Center at 1300 Broadway in Denver. Members of the public will be allowed to present comments at the hearing, which will be limited to three minutes per speaker.

During the last Colorado legislative session, InnovAge backed a bill that would let nonprofits that provide community-centered services through Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (or PACE) operate as for-profits — anticipating a change in the federal law which went into effect last May.

In late October, InnovAge filed a plan to convert to a for-profit organization. A Denver-based nonprofit, InnovAge operates several center-based senior care programs in Colorado. InnovAge’s proposal, which is available on the Attorney General’s website, has raised concerns with advocacy organizations including the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition.

Last Thursday, CCLP filed objections and comments to InnovAge’s proposal with the Attorney General. In short, CCLP has questions about whether InnovAge’s assets will be valued fairly and allocated appropriately. We also would like to ensure that the level of care provided by the new for-profit entity will not be degraded.

Recently, the Denver Business Journal detailed some of CCLP’s concerns about the plan. In addition, four of the state’s largest grant-making foundations stated their concerns in this letter to Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

This case involves a vulnerable and growing population and the potential to make several hundred million dollars available to support this population through future grant-making and program support.

Virtually all of us want to be able to remain at home and independent as we age — regardless of whether we have disabilities or are in frail health. We hope our family and friends can do so as well. Thursday’s hearing gives Coloradans a rare opportunity to weigh in on whether a new or existing foundation should be created to support that goal and to express their views on whether the public should have a say in development of that foundation’s mission, its board, and its ongoing work.

CCLP encourages its partners and allies to stay informed about the process and to share their thoughts with the Attorney General by giving oral testimony at the Dec. 17 hearing or submitting written comments by the Jan. 8 deadline.

– Bob Mook