Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Grant Activity: Current Activity Impacting Communities

Total Economic Impact of DBHIDS Spending is nearly $4Billion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    
March 30, 2015                                                       
The Scattergood Foundation and The Lindy Institute For Urban Innovation at Drexel University Release Economic Impact Study on Behavioral Health Spending on the City of Philadelphia

(Philadelphia, PA) – The Scattergood Foundation and Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University have released an Economic Impact Study (EIS) examining the impact that public spending on behavioral health in Philadelphia has on the broader Philadelphia economy. This EIS titled “The Economic Impact of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAblity Spending on the City of Philadelphia” specifically outlines the economic impact of the $1.12 billion spent annually by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS).  

Currently the $1.12billion budget includes nearly $900m earmarked for Community Behavioral Health services.  These amounts represent 17% of the City’s entire budget, so it is reasonable to believe that the effect of this spending is likely to be both far-reaching and substantial.  Moreover, this spending is entirely sourced in Washington DC, and not locally.  So, it is entirely reasonable to view this funding as a 100% stimulus to the Philadelphia economy, as opposed to locally-sourced funding that could be re-directed to other public programs if not behavioral health.

The main findings of the EIS show that the $1.12billon spent by DBHIDS:

  • Produces a total economic impact of nearly $4billion to the Philadelphia economy.
  • Creates and supports a total of 25,400 jobs.
  • Generates more than $36.1 million in annual tax revenues to the City of Philadelphia.
  • Every $1 spent by DBHIDS results in:
    • An additional $2.50 in economic activity to the City of Philadelphia
    • The creation and support of an additional 1.26 jobs in the City of Philadelphia
    • 8.1 cents in new annual tax revenue to the City of Philadelphia

“The Foundation believes it is critical that all Philadelphians, including the mayoral candidates and city council members, understand the total impact of behavioral health on the city of Philadelphia. This Economic Impact Study is the beginning of an ongoing public, transparent conversation about health and human services in the region,” said Joe Pyle, President of the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation.

The EIS also includes recommendations for the next mayor of Philadelphia including:

  • The City of Philadelphia agencies to support the completion of similar analyses to be done for all health and human services sectors.
  • DBHIDS to create an  advisory board including consumers, family members, mental health provider agencies, city and private employers, the city's workforce development agencies, and the physical health partnering agencies, with administrative support and responsibility provided by the Department of Behavioral Health.
  • DBHIDS  to provide an annual report to the Mayor and City Council with credible data on patient outcomes that represent the effectiveness and quality of treatment across the entire spectrum of care.
  • DBHIDS should continue to financially support the implementation of agreed-upon areas of innovation and evidence-based models across the entire spectrum of care.

”This report intends to shed an important light on the significant economic impact that publicly-managed behavioral health programs have on the Philadelphia economy.  These programs not only provide substantial support to improved social and health outcomes for the clients and communities they serve, but also represent a critical contribution to and pillar of Philadelphia’s economy,” said Kevin C. Gillen Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow at the Lindy Institute and author of the report.

The mayoral candidates have already received the EIS and have individually participated in an educational session on the issues.  The EIS will also be discussed at the first-ever Health and Human Services Mayoral Forum at 1pm on April 9th. The Health and Human Services Mayoral Forum is sponsored by the Alliance of Community Service Providers, Pennsylvania Council on Children, Youth, and Family Services, Committee of Seventy, and Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation.



For more information please contact:

Joe Pyle, MA, President
Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation        


Kevin Gillen, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow

The Lindy Institute of Urban Innovation at Drexel University