Except as otherwise provided by this section, the director may determine the form, frequency, and distribution of the conclusions and recommendations. The director shall transmit the conclusions and recommendations to the state commissioner of health. Before announcing a conclusion or recommendation that expressly or by implication criticizes an administrative agency, a health care provider, a home care provider, a residential care home, or a health facility, the director shall consult with that agency, health care provider, home care provider, home, or facility. When publishing an opinion adverse to an administrative agency, a health care provider, a home care provider, a residential care home, or a health facility, the director shall include in the publication any statement of reasonable length made to the director by that agency, health care provider, home care provider, residential care home, or health facility in defense or explanation of the action.
In addition to whatever other reports the director may make, the director shall, at the end of each year, report to the state commissioner of health concerning the exercise of the director's functions during the preceding year. The state commissioner of health may, at any time, request and receive information, other than resident records, from the director.
In performing the duties under Laws 1976, chapter 325, the director shall preserve the confidentiality of resident records. The director may release a resident's records with the written approval of the resident who is the subject of the records.