Medicare chief Mark McClellan is calling the slip-up that led to the mistaken sending of checks to 231,000 Medicare beneficiaries a "data processing error," and he says it won't cause any interruption in drug coverage under the Part D plan. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to McClellan expressing concern about the error and advised the agency to try to recover the $50 million in funds sent out erroneously in small, "manageable" increments over a long period.

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