Section 2. The commissioner shall administer the laws relative to health and sanitation and the regulations of the department, and shall prepare rules and regulations for the consideration of the council. The secretary of elder affairs and the commissioner shall jointly develop and submit to the council rules and regulations governing the licensure and operation of convalescent or nursing homes, rest homes, infirmaries maintained in a town and charitable homes for the aged. He may direct any executive officer or employee of the department to assist in the study, suppression or prevention of disease in any part of the commonwealth. He shall submit annually to the council a report containing recommendations in regard to health legislation.
The commissioner shall prepare from the birth, marriage and death records received by him under the provisions of chapter forty-six, and from the divorce returns received by him under the provisions of section forty-six of chapter two hundred and eight, such statistical tables as he deems useful, and shall make annual report thereof to the general court. The commissioner may transmit such information to the appropriate agency of the federal government to participate in the development of a cooperative system for producing uniform statistical information at the federal, state and local level. The commissioner may make further use of such records as he deems useful for administrative and research purposes connected with health programs and population studies. He shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable, cause the birth, marriage and death records to be bound with indexes thereto and shall retain their custody. He shall prepare an alphabetical index of such divorce returns showing the names of the parties, year and number of the judgment and the county in which the divorce occurred.
Prior to undertaking any activity or implementing any policy which would affect expenditures for medical assistance under chapter one hundred and eighteen E, including but not limited to the certification and licensure of providers of services under said chapter, the commissioner shall assure that such activity is reviewed by the commissioner of medical assistance.
The commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of mental health prior to taking an action substantially affecting the design and implementation of behavioral health services for children under guidelines established by the secretary of health and human services under section 16S of chapter 6A.
The commissioner, subject to the approval of the governor, may make such rules and regulations governing the conduct of written and oral examinations by the several boards of registration and examination under the department as shall be necessary to standardize procedures and protect the commonwealth and applicants for registration against fraud. Nothing in this section shall prevent a board from adopting, under authority of other provisions of law, specific rules and regulations that are not in conflict with the rules and regulations authorized by this section.