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Real-life data on health resource utilization and costs of hospitalized patients with inflammatory bowel disease are lacking in Switzerland. We aimed to assess health resource utilization and costs during a 1-year follow-up period starting with an index hospitalization.On the basis of claims data of the Helsana health insurance group, health resource utilization was assessed and costs reimbursed by mandatory basic health insurance [in Swiss Francs (CHF); 1 CHF=0.991 US$] were calculated during a 1-year follow-up period starting with an index hospitalization in the time period between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2014.Of 202 002 patients with at least one hospitalization in 2013–2014, a total of 270 (0.13%) patients had inflammatory bowel disease as main diagnosis [112 (41.5%) ulcerative colitis (UC), 158 (58.5%) Crohn’s disease (CD), 154/270 (57.0%) females]. In comparison with patients with UC, patients with CD were significantly more frequently treated with biologics (45.6 vs. 20.5%, P<0.001) and more frequently underwent surgery during index hospitalization (27.8 vs. 9.8%, P=0.002). Compared with patients with UC, those with CD had significantly more consultations [odds ratio (OR): 1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.12, P=0.016], higher median annual total costs (OR: 1.25, 95% CI: 1.05–1.48, P=0.012), and higher outpatient costs (OR: 1.33, 95% CI: 1.07–1.66, P=0.011). In the bivariate model, median total costs for patients with CD and those with UC were 24 270 and 17 270 CHF, respectively (P=0.032).When compared with patients with UC, hospitalized patients with CD have during a 1-year follow-up a higher rate of outpatient consultations and generate higher costs.