WASHINGTON: Bill Pierce, who has spent the past four years at the forefront of media relations at the Department of Health and Human Services, is joining APCO Worldwide Monday as a VP.
As deputy assistant secretary for public affairs, Pierce served as the chief spokesman at HHS as well as one of its public affairs advisors.
Pierce noted that his first responsibilities at APCO would focus on Medicare issues, advising clients on how to work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
The Medicare program will include prescription drug coverage in January, and both the government and private companies are already preparing awareness programs.
Pierce noted that he expects to counsel not only healthcare clients, but also any company impacted by the Medicare reforms.
"It's from the perspective of the federal government - what are its expectations for this benefit," he said.
He added that he would also work on Social Security issues.
HHS is under new leadership this year; Michael Leavitt was sworn in as secretary in January, replacing Tommy Thompson.
"I love public service, and I think this is the fair time to make the move," Pierce said. "This gives the new secretary the opportunity to build his staff for the long term."
Pierce steps down from his position tomorrow. A successor has not yet been named.
He has worked on issues such as stem cell research, anthrax, drug safety concerns, the flu vaccine shortage, and the Medicare benefits.