Jessica Mulligan is Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at Providence College. She teaches courses in public health, social studies of illness, and health policy. Trained as a medical anthropologist, her current research project uses life history interviews to explore the health and financial impacts of insurance coverage on the formerly uninsured. She has published journal articles in
Medical Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law (forthcoming). Her first book,
Unmanageable Care: An Ethnography of Health Care Privatization in Puerto Rico was just published by NYU Press. She received her doctorate in anthropology from Harvard University in 2007.
In Unmanageable Care, anthropologist Jessica M. Mulligan goes to work at an HMO and records what it’s really like to manage care. Set at a health insurance company dubbed Acme, this book chronicles how the privatization of the health care system in Puerto Rico transformed the experience of accessing and providing care on the island. Through interviews and participant observation, the book explores the everyday contexts in which market reforms were enacted. It follows privatization into the compliance department of a managed care organization, through the visits of federal auditors to a health plan, and into the homes of health plan members who recount their experiences navigating the new managed care system.