InnovAge CEO: ‘We Have a Couple of Irons in the Fire’

Even though InnovAge (Nasdaq: INNV) is already one of the largest Program of All-Inclusive Care for Elderly (PACE) providers in the U.S., the company has plans to go after an even bigger piece of the pie.

Maureen Hewitt, president and CEO of InnovAge, talked about the company’s multi-pronged growth strategy on Monday during a conference call to discuss financial results for its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31.

“[Our strategy] consists of organic growth, which is driven by increasing participant enrollment and capacity within existing centers, opening de novo centers in new and existing markets, tuck-in acquisitions, and reinvesting in the InnovAge platform to drive greater efficiencies and optimize performance,” Hewitt said.


PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep people in their communities instead of nursing homes. Oftentimes, programs are run out of community-based centers with the support of in-home care providers and their staff.

Denver-based InnovAge has about 1,900 employees. It serves 6,700 seniors across 18 centers in five states.

During Monday’s call, Hewitt noted how, over the years, InnovAge’s growth strategy has contributed to meaningful census growth and the completion of several tuck-in acquisitions. Those efforts have steadily increased the company’s geographic footprint, giving it a sense of scale that other PACE operators can’t come close to.


Keeping the momentum going, InnovAge has plans to open PACE centers in Florida and Kentucky over the next 18 months. The company also has plans to open additional de novo centers by 2023.

On top of that, InnovAge is in talks with potential joint venture partners for some of the company’s de novos centers.

“We also intend to pursue growth-enhancing acquisitions of PACE centers in large markets with experienced community partners that have established footprints,” Hewitt said. “As you can see, we have a number of irons in the fire, which have the potential to foster some nice growth avenues for InnovAge for several years to come.”

Aside from InnovAge’s aggressive growth strategy, the company saw a low voluntary turnover rate in Q3 2021. InnovAge turnover checked in at 20%, compared to a long-term care industry average turnover that ranges from 30% to 60%, according to Hewitt.

“We believe in developing our teammates, and have created what we call ‘three-feet-deep succession planning’ to ensure our team is always trained and ready,” she said.

Part of this planning was the addition of Alice Raia, who joined InnovAge as its chief information officer in April. Previously, Raia served as vice president of digital experience engineering at Kaiser Permanente.

The company’s hiring of Raia is part of its larger strategy to overhaul its technical data and digital platforms in order to improve patient care.

Along these lines, InnovAge is in the process of developing a PACE-specific telehealth platform. The company has plans to launch the first phase of this new solution later this year.

Since the start of the COVID-19 emergency, InnovAge has delivered more than 93,000 telehealth visits through the end of March.

Also top of mind for InnovAge is the potential impact of the PACE Plus Act, a bill that aims to expand access to PACE across the country.

In total, there are at least 138 PACE organizations operating 272 PACE centers in 30 states, serving roughly 55,000 participants combined, according to the National PACE Association.

Specifically, the PACE Plus Act opens the door for the creation of new PACE programs and the expansion of current ones through federal grants. The bill, which was introduced in April, also incentivizes non-PACE states to implement the model.

“The need for comprehensive home-based caregiver and health services for older Americans continues to grow,” Hewitt said. “Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, we believe it has become even clearer that PACE is one of the most effective care models for frail seniors. The PACE Plus Act would … [give] more aging Americans the option of living life on their terms, independently and in their own homes for as long and safely as possible.”

Overall, InnovAge reported net revenue of $156.3 million, up 8% compared to $144.8 million in Q3 2020. This was largely due to census growth, annual rate increases and the delay of sequestration.

For context, InnovAge had a Q3 2021 census of 6,655, a 5% increase from the same period last year.

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