Virtual Youth Startup Bend Health Rolls Out National Telehealth Assessment Service

Virtual pediatric behavioral health provider Bend Health revealed a new service line: virtual neuropsychological evaluations.

The new service helps curb the bottleneck in the youth behavioral health ecosystem and presents a potentially more effective diagnostic option than traditional evaluations, Dr. Monika Roots, Bend’s co-founder and president, told Behavioral Health Business

“I think that it can be done better,” Roots, a child psychiatrist, told BHB. Her child also went through virtual neuropsychological evaluations. “The option was to go in for a full day of testing for six hours, where he would be mentally fatigued, and maybe we would get false positives. Or I could do this in the comfort of his own home, where he can focus and we can break up the session.”


Previous research has shown that virtual neuropsychological evaluations are effective. More recent efforts have shown that virtual evaluations in patients’ homes have equivalent outcomes to in-person exams. Other research shows that in-home diagnostics can speed up access to care and lead to more children getting services.

Bend Health provides neuropsychological evaluations for several conditions — including ADHD, learning differences, behavioral challenges, autism spectrum disorders, brain injuries and other neurological disorders — in all states and the District of Columbia.

Prospective patients can access the neuropsychological evaluations through Bend Health’s website. Initial evaluations and intake information are collected via video chat. The company uses video chat to conduct and observe the administration of standardized assessments, Roots said.


Sessions are an hour or two long. The number of sessions may vary depending on the complexity of the assessment.

A tech-based approach also helps the Bend Health clinicians to send companion materials for parents easily, put together diagnostic reports, delivery to other providers or educational institutions, and live review of the test results with families, Roots said.

In Roots estimation, neuropsychological evaluations differ fundamentally from treatment for behavioral health conditions. Many place a premium on the therapeutic alliance, while some are skeptical that telehealth allows for that alliance to develop and positively impact care.

But that’s not a relevant issue at the assessment level of care.

“It’s a little like getting an x-ray done or a lab test,” Roots said. “You don’t necessarily have to have a relationship for it to go well.”

Roots likened using virtual neuropsychological evaluations to the difference between shopping at Marshall Field and Both are retailers. But the latter uses technology to provide a better experience.

“Marshall Field’s knew you walked in the door, but they didn’t know the pattern of you actually looking at the different items and why you picked what you picked,” Roots said. “Amazon changed that game, and they are winning. … Tech-enabled services have a much better opportunity than what we’ve been doing for decades. “

In March, BHB reported that Bend Health landed $32 million and emerged from stealth mode with clinicians available in all states and the District of Columbia. The company has active caseloads in most states.

Bend Health raised $32 million between a seed round and a Series A round. The latter saw participation from venture capital firms Maveron, SteelSky Ventures, and WVV Capital.

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