July 17, 2013_NH "Dear Administrator"

July 17, 2013

ADSA:  NH #2013-013

Dear Nursing Facility/Home Administrator:

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an update on the paid feeding assistant program (called Dietary Aide Program) in Washington State.  In 2004, we sent you a letter about how The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted federal regulations allowing states to implement this program.  At that time, Washington State only approved one training curriculum for use and this was developed by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) entitled Assisted Dining:  The Role and Skills of Feeding Assistants. 

Recently, we have heard that AHCA ran out of copies of the training curriculum, were not reprinting at this time, and no decision was made regarding a new edition due to changes needed to be made on the manual. 

In the meantime, if a facility chooses to participate in a dietary aide program, here are two other possible options for training curriculums: 

  1. "Assisting with Nutrition and Hydration in Long-term Care:"
  2. "Eating Matters-A Training Manual for Feeding Assistants;"    

Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure these curriculums meet all federal regulations. Here are the links to relevant federal requirements found in 42 CFR:

If you have any questions, please contact your RCS Field Manager.


E. Irene Owens, Interim Director
Residential Care Services