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August 1, 2016

To our patients:

On August 1, 2016, Blue Ridge Bone & Joint became part of an alliance that includes three other independent orthopedic physician groups across North Carolina which share our mission to provide streamlined, patient-centered care. The new practice will be called EmergeOrtho and will have the strength of 49 office locations in 21 counties statewide, thereby creating one of the largest physician-owned orthopedic practices in North Carolina.

It’s important to note, however, that you still have access to the same local specialists you have come to know and trust. You will still use the same contact numbers and access all of your providers and services in the same locations, including our Orthopedic Urgent Care. Our specialists will also continue to provide orthopedic care at the three major hospitals in the area: Mission Hospital, Pardee Hospital, and Park Ridge Hospital. Rest assured that this alliance will not take away any of the care you depend on, but will expand your options for services statewide.

The four practices that are combining to become EmergeOrtho are all well-established, highly reputable independent physician groups. These practices include: Blue Ridge Bone & Joint of Asheville, Hendersonville and Arden; Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists of Hickory, Morganton and Lenoir; OrthoWilmington of New Hanover, Brunswick and Onslow counties; and Triangle Orthopaedic Associates of the greater Raleigh-Durham area. Additional practices are preparing to join the alliance in a second phase of growth during 2017.

While the name and brand logo are changing, the bottom line is that our mission has not. We will continue our focus on delivering the best, subspecialized orthopedic care possible, in the most streamlined, cost-effective manner.

We have included a list of frequently asked questions that we hope will address concerns you may have. If you have additional questions, please call us at (828) 258-8800. We are in the process of developing a comprehensive new website for EmergeOrtho. In the meantime, you can continue to find information at

We hope you find this new alliance as exciting as we do, and we sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community.

Kind regards,

John Hicks, MD

President, Blue Ridge Bone & Joint


Tom Dimming, MD

President, EmergeOrtho


1. Why is Blue Ridge Bone & Joint joining forces with three other orthopedic practices across North Carolina to form EmergeOrtho?

  • The primary purpose in forming this new statewide group is to preserve the private practice model, a standard of care that we believe puts patients first and allows each group to provide their own high quality, lower cost care. The new organization will continue to build on proven strategies and implement programs that improve outcomes and lower costs for patients. Additionally, each group is committed to present and future alternative payment concepts and all accept a broad range of insurance options.
  • At Blue Ridge Bone & Joint, we see this alliance as the next phase in the evolution of our practice. By leveraging the previous successes of these individual practices, we can create new opportunities that may not have been available to each group independently. It allows us to strengthen and expand existing healthcare partnerships, positions us for exciting clinical and research opportunities, and makes possible greater economies of scale, such as volume discounts on equipment, technology and medical supplies. Most importantly, we believe this alliance will better prepare us for the changing healthcare landscape and allow us to better serve both our individual patients and communities.

2. Will the new practice structure affect my insurance coverage?

  • For the vast majority of patients, EmergeOrtho will participate in the same insurance plans in which Blue Ridge Bone & Joint currently participates. If you have questions about your specific insurance plan and its relationship with EmergeOrtho, please contact us at (828) 258-8800 and ask for “Billing”. Patient billing statements will now include reference to EmergeOrtho.

3. Will all the groups in EmergeOrtho have the same electronic medical record (EMR)?

  • Yes. All of the practices will be using the AthenaHealth EMR. Patients can access the patient portal through the following web address:
  • We appreciate your patience as we transition to a new EMR. There may be some delays as we learn the new system, but ultimately, the new EMR system will help streamline patient care and access.

4. How will the AthenaHealth EMR improve my patient experience?

  • Patients will now have access to a comprehensive patient portal that allows each patient to review his/her electronic medical record as often as desired. This includes the ability to access the patient portal via a mobile device.
  • Patients can send messages for non-urgent matters to their doctor or provider via email through the secure patient portal rather than having to call and wait on the phone.
  • Patients can request medication refills via the patient portal rather than having to call the office.

5. How does a single statewide integrated EMR benefit me as a patient?

  • A single integrated electronic medical record (EMR) means that every provider throughout EmergeOrtho’s statewide network will have accurate, real-time access to your electronic health information wherever you happen to be. Several examples of how this benefits you as a patient are listed below:
    • A patient treated by an EmergeOrtho provider for injury while on vacation can follow up with a different EmergeOrtho provider in their hometown who will have seamless access to their medical record.
    • If you need an MRI or physical therapy while travelling for work or pleasure, this can be coordinated with another EmergeOrtho office in a different office for your convenience.
    • Your provider will have access to over 120 orthopedic doctors with expertise in all major subspecialties. Should it be necessary, the integrated network will make it easier for your doctor to collaborate with other top orthopedic subspecialists in North Carolina to review your records and render an opinion on your medical condition.

6. How will this new practice structure affect Blue Ridge Bone & Joint’s involvement in the community?

  • As EmergeOrtho, the doctors of the Blue Ridge Bone & Joint will continue to build on our strong history of community service and relationships. We currently serve as team physicians for many local and regional sports teams and organizations including:
    • UNCA
    • Mars Hill University
    • Warren Wilson College
    • ABYSA (Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association)
    • Erwin High School
    • TC Roberson High School
    • North Buncombe High School
    • Christ School
    • Asheville School
  • We are also proud to continue our support of many community events and organizations including:
    • Brevard High School Woman’s Basketball Team
    • UNCA Annual Bulldog Association Golf Tournament
    • Collier Lilly Ride for NC Outward Bound
    • Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Chamber 5K
    • Annual “Walk a Mile” Asheville
    • Buncombe County Young Life
    • Asheville Catholic School Annual Shamrock 5K/10K Run

7. Why did you choose the name EmergeOrtho?

  • We chose the name EmergeOrtho because it describes the alliance’s mission. Our goal is for patients to emerge from treatment healed from debilitating pain or limited motion. Through excellent care our patients can emerge stronger and healthier, better able to lead an active life.