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General Laws

  Section 16. The executive office of health and human services shall serve as the principal agency of the executive department for the following purposes: (a) developing, coordinating, administering and managing the health, welfare and human services operations, policies and programs; (b) supervising and managing the organization and conduct of the business affairs of the departments, commissions, offices, boards, divisions, institutions and other entities within the executive office to improve administrative efficiency and program effectiveness and to preserve fiscal resources; (c) developing and implementing effective policies, regulations and programs to assure the coordination and quality of services provided by the secretary and all of the departments, agencies, commissions, offices, boards, and divisions; (d) acting as the single state agency under section 1902(a)(5) of the Social Security Act authorized to supervise and administer the state programs under title XIX, for the programs under titles IV (A), IV (B), IV (E), XX and XXI of the Social Security Act, and for the programs under the Rehabilitation Act; and (e) maximizing federal financial participation for all agencies, departments, offices, divisions and commissions within the executive office.

  The executive office of health and human services shall include: (1) the department of elder affairs under the direction of a secretary of elder affairs, who shall be appointed by the governor; (2) the office of health services, which shall include the department of public health, the department of mental health, the division of medical assistance and the Betsy Lehman center for patient safety and medical error reduction; (3) the office of children, youth and family services, which shall include the department of children and families, the department of transitional assistance, the department of youth services, the child abuse prevention board and the office for refugees and immigrants; (4) the office of disabilities and community services, which shall include the department of developmental services, the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission, the Massachusetts commission for the blind, the Massachusetts commission for the deaf and hard of hearing and the Soldiers' Home in Massachusetts and the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke; (5) the department of veterans' services under the direction of the secretary of veterans' services, who shall be appointed by the governor; (6) the managed care oversight board; and (7) the health facilities appeals board.

  The governor shall appoint a secretary of health and human services, who shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and shall act as the executive officer in all matters pertaining to the administration, management, operation, regulation, planning, fiscal and policy development functions and affairs of the departments, commissions, offices, boards, divisions and other agencies within the executive office.

  The secretary shall have the authority to: (a) through the department of elder affairs and the division of medical assistance and other agencies within the executive office, as appropriate, operate and administer the programs of medical assistance and medical benefits under chapter 118E; provided, however, that the executive office under the direction of the secretary shall be the single state agency under section 1902(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, under Title XIX agency, for programs under titles IV(A), IV(B), IV(E), XX and XIX of the Social Security Act and for programs under the Rehabilitation Act; (b) establish certain rates of payment for health care services under section 13C of chapter 118E; (c) coordinate and supervise the administration of the executive office and its agencies to promote economy and efficiency and improve service delivery; (d) establish uniform regional and area boundaries for the agencies within the executive office; (e) establish uniform contracting and payment procedures for the executive office and its agencies; (f) develop and implement a management information system for the management of fiscal, client and program data necessary for the efficient administration of the agencies within the executive office; (g) pursuant to chapter 30A, make, amend and repeal rules and regulations for the management and administration of the executive office and agencies within the executive office, including regarding the sharing of data, including personal data, between and among the executive office and its agencies, subject to appropriate protections for the confidentiality of client data; (h) execute all instruments necessary for carrying out the business of the executive office and its agencies; (i) acquire, own, hold, dispose of, lease and encumber property in the name of the executive office and its agencies; (j) enter into agreements and transactions with federal, state and municipal agencies and other public institutions and private individuals, partnerships, firms, corporations, associations and other entities on behalf of the executive office or its agencies; (k) charge and collect fees, rentals and other charges as may be reasonable and necessary for carrying out the business of the executive office and its agencies; (1) apply for and accept funds, including grants, bequests, gifts and contributions on behalf of the commonwealth in accordance with section 6 of chapter 29B; and (m) serve as the executive and administrative head of each office, department, division, bureau, section, agency and other administrative unit within the executive office, except as specifically provided by law. The secretary may delegate any of the foregoing powers to an officer having charge of a department, office, division or other administrative unit within the executive office.

  The secretary of health and human services may appoint an assistant secretary for each of the following offices: health services; disabilities and community services; and children, youth and family services. The assistant secretaries shall serve at the pleasure of the secretary and shall perform such duties as the secretary shall determine. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the secretary may appoint an individual to serve simultaneously as the commissioner of any agency within the executive office and as an assistant secretary for the offices of health services, disability and community services and children, youth and family services. If the secretary appoints an individual to serve simultaneously as a commissioner and assistant secretary, the individual shall only be compensated for service in 1 office.

  The secretary may appoint, consistent with sections 3 and 7, whatever personnel he deems necessary or desirable for the effective performance of the executive office. Such personnel shall perform such duties as the secretary shall determine and serve at the pleasure of the secretary.

  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, state agencies and direct and subcontracted providers of health-related services, including purchase-of-service providers financed from appropriation items for any state agency, shall maximize Title XIX and all other federal, state and private health insurance coverage available to offset costs to the commonwealth. The agencies or providers shall collect information from clients or from the parent or guardian of a minor receiving services necessary to determine the extent to which clients are eligible for medical assistance benefits under chapter 118E or are beneficiaries of any health insurance policy. The agencies or providers shall forward client information collected under this section to the executive office of health and human services and such data shall only be used to match against available databases for the purpose of identifying all sources of potential payment for health services or health insurance coverage. As required or permitted by federal law, the executive office of health and human services shall return the results of any such data matches to the originating agency or provider, which shall take the appropriate action to ensure that the costs to the commonwealth are minimized. Appropriate actions shall include, but not be limited to, the agency or provider billing or re-billing verified third-party sources of potential payment. The executive office of administration and finance may grant an agency or provider an exemption from this section for good cause. The executive office of health and human services and the operational services division shall review regulations, contracting forms, service delivery reports and uniform financial reporting requirements to determine what changes are necessary for the successful implementation of this section.

  The secretary, in consultation with the interagency child welfare task force established by section 215 of chapter 6, the commissioner of children and families and the child advocate, shall assess the commonwealth's long-term, system-wide needs for the prevention and detection of child abuse and neglect and shall coordinate and integrate responses across the agencies within the executive office. The secretary shall identify existing and potential resources, structural strengths and weaknesses, overlapping or conflicting efforts and opportunities for coordinated responses to child welfare issues. The secretary shall facilitate information sharing and policy synchronization among federal, state and local entities.

[ Paragraph added by 2013, 35, Sec. 1 effective August 4, 2013. See 2013, 35, Sec. 103.]

  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the executive office of health and human services may request from any agency, department, division, commission, board, authority, or other public or quasi-public entity in the commonwealth, and they shall provide, any information, including personal data, as defined in section 1 of chapter 66A and data in the wage reporting system administered by the department of revenue pursuant to chapter 62E, that the executive office of health and human services determines to be necessary to make available, determine eligibility for, enroll individuals in and otherwise administer various public benefit programs authorized pursuant to chapter 118E or other programs that the executive office of health and human services may administer in accord with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, as amended from time to time, or that the executive office of health and human services determines, in its judgment, as being reasonably necessary to develop and administer a single integrated eligibility system, in conjunction with the commonwealth health insurance connector authority, through which the executive office of health and human services may make available, determine eligibility for, enroll individuals in and otherwise administer such public benefit programs, and through which the commonwealth health insurance connector authority will execute its statutory responsibilities pursuant to chapter 176Q; provided, that the provision of such information to the executive office of health and human services for such purposes is consistent with federal law. Further, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the executive office of health and human services is authorized to provide to the commonwealth health insurance connector authority any information the executive office of health and human services obtains pursuant to section 23 of chapter 118E as necessary for the commonwealth health insurance connector authority to perform its duties pursuant to chapter 176Q.

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