District health boards in Auckland say collecting blood and other samples from homes, including resthomes, is time consuming and should be restricted to those who cannot be expected to go to a blood collection centre.
Radio New Zealand's health correspondent says a row appears to be brewing between the boards and rest home operators over an attempt by the boards and laboratory contractors to clarify who should qualify to have tests taken on-site.
The boards and the labs say residents who are mobile should go to a collection centre, but those who are immobile will continue to have their blood collected at resthomes.
Counties Manukau DHB Don Mackie chief medical officer says this reaffirms past practice.
The Aged Care Association disputes this, as does Bupa Care Services chief executive Dwayne Crombie, who says it hasn't been the practice in the past for resthome residents.